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Posted

(CNN) -- A burger grown in a laboratory. Sounds like science-fiction? Well up until very recently it probably was but now the prospect of lab-grown meat appearing on our supermarket shelves is closer than ever.

Synthetic or test-tube meat involves taking a small amount of cells from a living animal and growing it into lumps of muscle tissue, which can then, in theory, be eaten as meat for human consumption.

As well avoiding killing animals, scientists believe it could help reduce the environmental impact of meat production.

The technology to create artificial meat has been around since the turn of the century -- NASA once looked into developing it for their astronauts -- but making an edible and commercially viable product has remained out of reach. It also remains to be seen whether consumers will accept it as an alternative to farm animal-based meat.

But now a U.S. scientist says he is closer than ever to achieving the technological breakthrough. What's more, he believes a market for his lab-grown meat does exist.

Hungarian-born Gabor Forgacs, of the University of Missouri, is a specialist in tissue engineering, working to create replacement tissue and organs for humans. He realized the same technology could be used to engineer meat for human consumption.

He became the first scientist in the United States to produce and publicly eat some of his tissue-engineered meat, at the 2011 TEDMED conference.

His company, Modern Meadows, has already attracted a number of investors since being launched in 2011, including, says Forgacs, funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

source

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Posted

I'm sure the hungry people in Africa wouldn't care if it was grown in a lab.

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Posted

I don't see this going over that well in the US. I sure wouldn't care for it.

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Posted

Eww wonder if it's made of

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Posted

I don't see this going over that well in the US. I sure wouldn't care for it.

You might end up eating cloned human :shifty:

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Posted

They probably will lobby against it being labeled, b/c that will produce doubt in the consumers mind.

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Posted

It will end up giving people cancer, or 5 other side-effects.

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Posted

soylent green anyone?

You might end up eating cloned human :shifty:

hence soylent green

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Posted

Once they perfect it you won't be able to tell the difference, after all it's the same muscle tissue.

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Posted

what kind of fat would they use to flavor it? or anything?

it must taste like cardboard!

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Posted

^ Plain cooked meat has no flavor.

It's the cheese, ketchup, salt, pepper, or other condiments you add that gives meat flavor. ;)

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Posted

^ Plain cooked meat has no flavor.

It's the cheese, ketchup, salt, pepper, or other condiments you add that gives meat flavor. ;)

HUH?!

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Posted

I'd be interested to see a breakdown of how this works, and a comparison of the 'raw materials' needed compared to farm reared meat.

You can't make something out of nothing, the solutions/nutrients used to feed the tissue growth must have some tangible impact/footprint. As such, I doubt they'll be handing out free hamburgers in Africa any time soon.

Edit:

From the article source:

"(CNN) -

Research from the University of Oxford, published last year, estimated that lab-grown meat produces 78-96% lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced meat within the EU. It also had a 99% lower land use and a 82-96% lower water use."

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Posted

HUH?!

You don't cook much do you lol

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Posted

You don't cook much do you lol

I assume you were including that with my huh to Hum, and not to me? I mean, I know Neowin isn't exactly a cooking forum, but still, haha.

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Posted

I wonder if there will be designer meats -- no cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol, virus-free, etc.

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Posted

I wonder if there will be designer meats -- no cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol, virus-free, etc.

I bet Facebook will want a steak in it......................

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Posted

^ I'll bet McDonald's will be first in line. :laugh:

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Posted

When animals eat they are eating plants with nutrients and those nutrients are in them as well. When we consumer the meat we are getting nutrients. The animals cells are breaking things down and making new things. I can't imagine that scientist are even close to reproducing anything similar. Even if they were then why produce meat. If they can reproduce exactly what cells do then we can bypass food and have cells that rebuild are body. I guess the question then would be how do you get the materials the cells need to the cells. So for now we will have to rely on consuming the materials.

Either way, there is a long way to go before I eat anything like this.

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Posted

In theory if it was made synthetically, you could add whatever nutrients you wanted to it.

Quite frankly, given how a) animals are raised, and b) most of our meat is stored, this isn't too far off from what we're eating as it is.

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Posted

Gross.

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Posted

^ I'll bet McDonald's will be first in line. :laugh:

That wouldn't surprise me one bit.

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