Sunday, August 14, 2005
I'm sure this could be really fine meat, but how are they going to make a really good steak? The human palate doesn't judge a lump of cooked tissue solely by the nutrient bath it grew in.
It is the ultimate conundrum for vegetarians who think that meat is murder: a revolution in processed food that will see fresh meat grown from animal cells without a single cow, sheep or pig being killed.
Researchers have published details in a biotechnology journal describing a new technique which they hailed as the answer to the world's food shortage. Lumps of meat would be cultured in laboratory vats rather than carved from livestock reared on a farm.
Scientists have adapted the cutting-edge medical technique of tissue engineering, where individual cells are multiplied into whole tissues, and applied them to food production. 'With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply,' said Jason Matheny, an agricultural scientist at the University of Maryland.
We'll see. What's next? Artificial asparagus?