Scientists in Europe appear to be on the verge of growing artificial meat in laboratories, which could eventually eliminate the need for animal slaughter.
In a story first reported in The Herald Sun, one expert predicts a stem cell sausage grown in the lab might be as little as six months away.
“Pain-free” meat produced from stem cells could save millions of animals from the slaughterhouse and help preserve the environment through significantly reduced energy, land and water use. Research scientist Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, says the first synthetic sausage could be just six months away. He hopes to have hamburger within a year, he told trade journal New Scientist.
One possible hurdle to the success of test tube meat could be its appearance. Lab meat grown so far, made from pig cells fed with horse fetal serum, does not look too appetizing. It is white in color because there’s no blood in it, and very little myoglobin, an iron-building protein. The researchers are exploring ways to build up the myoglobin content to give the meat some color.
We’ve heard a lot from the media in recent years about the controversy arouund stem cell research. Who knew it might soon be putting meat on the table?
One other question: Would vegetarians be willing to eat lab-raised meat?
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