Animal Production / Animal Products / Consumption / Environment

Scientists grow ‘cultured’ meat in labs

Beef and pork sellers in Maputo's traditional market

Meat sellers in Maputo’s traditional market: Will ‘cultured’ meat grown in vats ever replace meat grown on the hoof in developing countries? (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

‘In a small laboratory on an upper floor of the basic science building at the Medical University of South Carolina, Vladimir Mironov, M.D., Ph.D., has been working for a decade to grow meat.

‘A developmental biologist and tissue engineer, Dr. Mironov, 56, is one of only a few scientists worldwide involved in bioengineering “cultured” meat.

‘It’s a product he believes could help solve future global food crises resulting from shrinking amounts of land available for growing meat the old-fashioned way . . . on the hoof.

‘Growth of “in-vitro” or cultured meat is also under way in the Netherlands, Mironov told Reuters in an interview, but in the United States, it is science in search of funding and demand. . . .

‘Dr. Mironov has taken myoblasts—embryonic cells that develop into muscle tissue—from turkey and bathed them in a nutrient bath of bovine serum on a scaffold made of chitosan (a common polymer found in nature) to grow animal skeletal muscle tissue. . . .

‘”Further out, if we have interplanetary exploration, people will need to produce food in space and you can’t take a cow with you.

‘”We have to look to these ideas in order to progress. Otherwise, we stay static. I mean, 15 years ago who could have imagined the iPhone?”‘

Read the whole article in the Edmonton Journal: Scientists grow ‘cultured’ meat in a lab, 31 January 2011.

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