And now, a few items to prove that real science is overtaking science fiction at an astounding rate.
Remember that scene in the episode of Star Trek, The Original Series, when Captain Kirk steps to a bank of receptacles in the wall and orders a chicken sandwich and coffee from the replicator (only to be served a plateful of fluffy Tribbles)? Well, a similar food reproduction system may be coming to an automat near you (without the furry interlopers, of course).
|So close to replicator tech--just leave out the tribbles.|
Catherine Lamb reports in TheSpoon.tech that the Israeli company Redefine Meat has developed a 3D printer that can produce a beef-like meat substance from plant-based materials. The company can build the printer for the relatively low cost of $100k. The idea would be to sell the machine, then supply the buyer (food distributors or producers, for example) with plant-based material packs to make the meat products. Currently Redefine Meat is focused on beef, but is researching how to create tuna, pork and other “flavors” as well.
Why stop there? “Replicated” vegetables and grains would be just as desirable in space, or even in isolated environments on earth where storage and/or refrigeration space is at a premium—the research stations at Antarctica, for example, or on remote islands. And imagine the advantages on the International Space Station, or if we establish an outpost on the moon or on Mars.
Of course, we Trekkers are not surprised that the writers who envisioned the cellphone, the iPad and the MRI would inspire yet another tech marvel. But, hey, I never really thought I would be clairvoyant when it came to the science in my books.
My Interstellar Rescue series characters use a system of stable wormholes to get around the galaxy. The entrances/exits to these tunnels in space/time are called Jump Nodes in the books and act on surrounding space like mini-black holes. In the series, one of these Jump Nodes exists on the very edge of our own solar system, hidden from our technology, but making Earth an easy target for the slave-trading bad-guy aliens.
Well, guess what? Scientists have found a mysterious object they have tagged “Planet 9” in the outer reaches of our solar system. Some scientists believe the object may be what is known as a “primordial black hole,” that is, one formed in the aftermath of the Big Bang. The hole, if it exists, may be no bigger than a bowling ball and would not be detectable by visible-light or infrared telescopes. Scientists arguing for the existence of the object base their hypothesis on anomalies in the orbits of asteroids, comets and other bodies beyond Neptune, according to the report in NBCNews.com. The only problem is, no primordial black holes have ever been seen before, though they theoretically might exist.
An alternate explanation would be that a huge, undetected planet is causing the gravitational variations. Says a coauthor of the study, James Unwin of the University of Illinois at Chicago, “The discovery of a giant planet in the outer solar system would be an extraordinary discovery. But the discovery of a primordial black hole would be immense and even more spectacular.”
HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAYS TO MY CO-BLOGGERS
Congratulations to both Sharon Lynn Fisher for the debut this week of The Absinthe Earl (The Faery Rehistory Series Book 1) and to Laurie Green and her co-authors for the fabulous success of Pets in Space® 4. If you haven’t gotten your copies of these great books (one a fantasy/alternate history romance, the other a continuation of the SFR series), better get in line.
Information for this post drawn from: "Redefine Meat Raises $6M for 3D Printed Meat Alternatives." by Catherine Lamb, TheSpoon.tech, September 11, 2019.