Posts tagged protein

Who doesn’t love ice cream? The only thing that keeps us from eating it more often is that it isn’t the healthiest of pastimes. But what if someone found a solution to that problem?

Perhaps Fraunhofer Labs have the answer to that question.

It has no dairy, gluten, animal fats or protein, and it’s cholesterol-free, says Fraunhofer. The ice
cream is now on sale at a German supermarket chain.

Seriously. I’m gonna have to try some of this when it’s available outside of Germany. My only concern is: how authentic to real ice cream will the taste be?

“Lupinesse,” as it’s called, is derived from the seeds of the blue sweet lupin, known in this country as lupine. They flower as tall, thin rods — Texas bluebonnet is a lupine, for instance. The blue sweet lupin, which is indigenous to Europe, has a particularly high-protein seed, which is important for developing a creamy consistency, Klaus Mueller of the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV in Freising, Germany, said in a press release. The protein also has cholesterol-regulating effects, he said.

Plant-based ice creams are obviously not a new idea — there are several types of soy, coconut and nut-based ice creams on the market, targeted for vegans and people with lactose intolerance. But this one is valuable because the plant protein has additional health benefits, and the plant itself has nitrogen-binding roots, so growing it can improve soil quality. Apparently lupin is considered the “soybean of the north” in Europe.

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Culturing memory from cultured braincells?

It’s as if the innate ability of braincells themselves realize their function, even when re-purposed and displaced into another suitable environment altogether.

Memory. We experience it each passing nanosecond of our lives, yet it remains an indefinable enigma. Fascinating.

A fluorescent image of the neural network model developed at Pitt reveals the interconnection (red) between individual brain cells (blue). Adhesive proteins (green) allow the network to be constructed on silicon discs for experimentation. Ashwin Vishwanathan, Guo-Qiang Bi and Henry C. Zeringue, University of Pittsburgh

It’s not artificial intelligence in the Turing test sense, but the technicolor ring you see above is actually an artificial microbrain, derived from rat brain cells–just 40 to 60 neurons in total–that is capable of about 12 seconds of short-term memory.

Developed by a team at the University of Pittsburgh, the brain was created in an attempt to artificially nurture a working brain into existence so that researchers could study neural networks and how our brains transmit electrical signals and store data so efficiently. The did so by attaching a layer of proteins to a silicon disk and adding brain cells from embryonic rats that attached themselves to the proteins and grew to connect with one another in the ring seen above.

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