Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale :: University Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland

Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale :: University Communications Newsdesk, University of Maryland: "Paper Says Edible Meat Can be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale

Microscopic image of turkey muscle cells grown in cultureExperiments for NASA space missions have shown that small amounts of edible meat can be created in a lab. But the technology that could grow chicken nuggets without the chicken, on a large scale, may not be just a science fiction fantasy.

In a paper in the June 29 issue of Tissue Engineering, a team of scientists, including University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, propose two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown -- meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat.

'There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat,' says Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. 'For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.

'Cultured meat could also reduce the pollution that results from raising livestock, and you wouldn't need the drugs that are used on animals raised for meat.'"

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