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Genetic Linkage

Anatomy of an Impossible Burger

Burger King is going to sell the Impossible Burger and McDonalds is soon to follow with its own meatless patty. So I thought I'd check out the brilliantly-branded burger, both in the patent and on my plate.

 

A Variation on the Heme Theme

 

My first encounter with the Impossible Burger was pinching a piece off my dinner companion's plate in February. It looked and seemed to bleed like a real burger. As I chewed, I googled the product on my phone, stopping at the word "heme."

 

Gulp.

 

I stopped chewing. Once I got past the image of a bovine muscle pulsating on the plate, I envisioned the iron atom within its porphyrin ring, both lying within a surrounding globular protein, a little like a tootsie roll pop.

 

Heme in various guises is found in all species, from bacteria to beans to buffalos. It's at the heart of the myoglobin in our muscles and the hemoglobin in our blood, packed most densely into the muscle cells of beef cattle.

 

To continue reading, go to my DNA Science DNA Science blog at Public Library of Science.

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