Fake steak

If this really does taste good, I’ll be thrilled. Via Newsweek:

In the next several months the U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to rule on whether or not (and if so, how) cultivated meats can be sold in the country. Industry watchers say authorization is likely. Once sales are permitted in the U.S., other countries will soon follow, and companies from around the world will start bringing their cultivated meat products to market in what is likely to be the biggest meat revolution since the domestication of cattle. Aiming for higher (ahem) stakes may hinder Aleph’s advance to market, but Toubia shrugs off the competition, confident that slow and steady progress wins in the end. “First to market is not necessarily a benefit with new food categories. Our priority is impact, for the planet, and taste, for consumer acceptance.”

He may be on to something. My thin-cut steak, brushed with butter and seasoned simply with salt and pepper, hits the hot grill of Aleph’s demonstration kitchen with an audible hiss. The scent of seared meat wafts towards me as the in-house chef flips a credit-card sized portion onto my plate. The steak is disappointingly slim—I’ll have to come back another time for the thicker, 3D-printed version—but it is as tender and juicy as the interior of a filet mignon. As I cut into it, the meat tears into strands more characteristic of a brisket, but with none of the dryness. I take a bite. The flavor is pure meat—a caramelized crust giving way to a savory richness. The square shape and thin cut betray my steak’s bioreactor origins, but eyes closed, I wouldn’t know the difference. With my last bite, I realize Toubia was wrong. It doesn’t taste like the future. It tastes like steak. Without the guilt.

Reviving 50,000-year-old viruses? Sure, why not?

Oh sure, like that’s not the opening scene from every science fiction movie ever! Via Common Dreams:

As our world continues to warm up, vast areas of permafrost are rapidly melting, releasing material that’s been trapped for up to a million years. This includes uncountable numbers of microbes that have been lying dormant for hundreds of millennia.

To study these emerging microbes, scientists from the French National Center for Scientific Research have now revived a number of these “zombie viruses” from the Siberian permafrost, including one thought to be nearly 50,000 years old – a record age for a frozen virus returning to a state capable of infecting other organisms.

The team behind the study, led by microbiologist Jean-Marie, says these ancient viruses are potentially a significant threat to public health, and further study needs to be done to assess the danger that these infectious agents could pose as the permafrost melts.

Some Florida insurance carriers could go belly up

Hurricane Ian’s Uncertain Path Keeps Much of Florida on Alertars of

Yet another reason why I wouldn’t live in Florida. Remember what happened in Lousiana– insurers simply refused to cover everything their policies say they will, and losses in Florida will be even worse. Via ABC News:

Industry analysts say ye rampant and frivolous litigation and scams have brought Florida’s home-insurance market to its knees, with many large insurers like Allstate and State Farm, reducing their exposure to the state in the past decade.

“Insurers most exposed to the storm will be the Florida-only insurers, which we define as insurance companies with at least 75% of their homeowners and commercial property premiums written in Florida,” according to a report from Moody’s Analytics submitted to ABC News.

The state-run, taxpayer-subsidized Citizens Property Insurance Corp. stands to lose the most. As more local insurance companies in Florida have closed their doors, Citizens has seen its number of policyholders swell from 700,000 to more than 1 million in just the past year.