in today’s news….
Well, science has done it again. It seems that artificially produced cow meat will be available for human consumption this year. Scientist have perfected the technique of artificially reproducing meat, and expect it to be ready to hit the dinner tables this October. If successful, scientist say other meat products are on the agenda…
Here is how the The Telegraph reports the story:
Speaking at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Vancouver yesterday afternoon (SUNDAY), Prof Post said his team has successfully replicated the process with cow cells and calf serum, bringing the first artificial burger a step closer.
He said: “In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels and hopefully tastes like meat.”
Although it is possible to extract a limited number of stem cells from cows without killing them, Prof Post said the most efficient way of taking the process forward would still involve slaughter.
He said: “Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells form there.”
Each animal would be able to produce about a million times more meat through the lab-based technique than through the traditional method of butchery, he added.
Making a complete burger will require 3,000 strips of muscle tissue, each of which measures about 3cm long by 1.5cm wide, with a thickness of half a millimetre and takes six weeks to produce.
The meat will then be ground up with 200 strips of fat tissue, produced in the same way, to make a hamburger.
To produce the meat, stem cells are placed in a broth containing vital nutrients and serum from a cow foetus which allow them to grow into muscle cells and multiply up to 30 times.
At the moment the method produces meat with realistic fibres and a pinkish-yellow tinge, but Prof Post expects to produce more authentically coloured strips in the near future.
He forecast that, with the right funding and regulatory approval, his method could be scaled up to industrial proportions within as little as ten years.
But creating different cuts, such as steaks, would be more problematic because to grow thicker strips of meat would require an artificial blood supply, he added.
The work is being financed by anonymous and extremely wealthy benefactor who Prof Post claims is a household name with a reputation for “turning everything into gold”.
Prof Post plans to ask Heston Blumenthal to cook the meat, and the anonymous financer will decide who to invite to eat it.
The only person to have tried the lab-grown meat so far is a Russian journalist who snatched a sample of pork during a visit to Prof Post’s lab at Maastricht University last year and declared himself unimpressed.
A Franken-burger?? At least this time they aren’t making it out of human feces like the scientist in Japan…
But still… no thank you son…we’ll pass.