Author: Allison Guy

overabundance of lobsters global warming overfishing
Anthropocene

Why Are Lobsters Thriving in Maine?

Just when the oceans seem to be emptying of everything except jellyfish and microbial goo, a surprising finding has emerged from the Gulf of Maine: over the last decade, lobster stocks have been booming. This formerly white-tablecloth food is now so abundant that even local convenience stores are installing lobster tanks. While the health of lobster stocks is in part due to the famously successful Maine lobster management plan, there’s other factors at work that might dampen your enthusiasm for these big red crustaceans.

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vegetable lamb of tartary
Food Technology

The Sci-Fi Prehistory of “Victimless” Meat

The idea of “disembodied” meat, whether grown from trees or in the lab, has been around for at least a century – if not way longer. The medieval notion of the “vegetable lamb of Tartary”, a live sheep that sprouts from a plant, could be thought of as the great-granddaddy of “victimless” meat. However, the idea of truly in vitro meat had to wait for the invention of cell culture. No doubt French surgeon Alexis Carrell pondered taking a nibble of an immortal drumstick when he created an “immortal” chicken heart cell line in 1912.

Perhaps the earliest explicit mentions of cultured meat comes from British statesman Frederick Edwin Smith. In 1930, Smith predicted that “it will no longer be necessary to go to the extravagant length of rearing a bullock in order to eat its steak. From one ‘parent’ steak of choice tenderness it will be possible to grow as large and as juicy a steak as can be desired.” Winston Churchill famously echoed this sentiment only two years later. According to Technovelty, in vitro meat made its first appearance in fiction in 1952. Since then, sci-fi authors have described inspiring, bizarre and uncanny speculative meat futures. Click through for some of the most evocative…

Next Nature is continuing the tradition of visionary lab-grown meat speculation: Support our crowdfunding campaign for the world’s first in vitro meat cookbook!

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half of the world's population lives inside this circle
Anthropocene

Where the Other Half Lives

Map-enthusiast Valerie Pieris has created a fascinating visualization of human population centers. We all know that a huge fraction of humanity lives in Asia, but this map really drives the point home.…

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banksy-kiddie-ride-dolphin-bp-oil-photo1
Food Technology

Anti-BP Diseased Dolphin Ride

In what’s probably the most fun form of environmental protest ever, Banksy has created a morose-looking dolphin ride to protest the BP oil spill. The ride is complete with fish nets and…

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bunlaiboat500
Back to the Tribe

Invasive Sushi from Invasive Species

Chef Bun Lai of Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut, has a cheeky solution to invasive species: he eats them. His menu regularly features lionfish and Asian shore crabs, neither of which…

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Drinksavvy
Hyperreality

This Color-Changing Glass Could Stop Date Rape

Because date rape drugs are odorless, colorless and tasteless, victims don’t normally realize they’ve been attacked until it’s too late. In a clever, necessary bit of information decoration, the founders of DrinkSavvy…

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Homo-erectus
Anthropomorphobia

Did Monogamy Make Us Human?

Want to justify the amount of time you spend on your online dating profile? It turns out that monogamy (along with language, booze, cooking, and bipedalism) may be one of those unique traits that “made us human”. While primates as a whole are an unusually monogamous for mammals, our closest relatives, the great apes, are all into promiscuous free-love. Though the benefits of the human pair bond are obvious now – it’s helpful for rearing big-brained, energy-intensive offspring – scientists are still split on why human monogamy evolved in the first place.

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