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Burgers from a lab? US study says it's possible

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Laboratories using new tissue engineering technology might be able to produce meat that is healthier for consumers and cut down on pollution produced by factory farming, researchers said on Wednesday.
While NASA

NASA engineers have grown fish tissue in lab dishes, no one has seriously proposed a way to grow meat on commercial levels.
But a new study conducted by University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny and his colleagues describe two possible ways to do it.

Writing in the journal Tissue Engineering, Matheny said scientists could grow cells from the muscle tissue of cattle, pigs, poultry or fish in large flat sheets on thin membranes. These sheets of cells would be grown and stretched, then removed from the membranes and stacked to increase thickness and resemble meat.

Using another method, scientists could grow muscle cells on small three-dimensional beads that stretch with small changes in temperature. The resulting tissue could be used to make processed meat such as chicken nuggets or hamburgers.

"There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," Matheny said in a statement. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients."

Meat is high in omega-6 fatty acid, which is desirable, but not in large amounts. Healthful omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in walnuts and fish oils, could be substituted.

"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," Matheny said.

Raising livestock requires million of gallons of water and hundreds of acres of land. Meat grown from tissue would bypass those requirements.

The demand for meat is increasing worldwide, Matheny said. "China's meat demand is doubling every ten years," he said. "Poultry consumption in India has doubled in the last five years."

Writing in this month's Physics World, British physicist Alan Calvert calculated that the animals eaten by people produce 21 percent of the carbon dioxide that can be attributed to human activity. He recommends people switch to a vegetarian diet as a way to battle global warming.

"Worldwide reduction of meat production in the pursuit of the targets set in the Kyoto treaty seems to carry fewer political unknowns than cutting our consumption of fossil fuels," he said in a statement.

The Kyoto treaty is a global agreement aimed at reducing production of so-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide that help fuel global warming.
I wonder about the taste and cost,the reduced pollution better nutrition (fat free meat prehaps) and less animal rights activists complaining makes this thread worthy
 

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What about the religous extremists?
I'm sure they will have something to say about this.
 

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interesting article, if it wouldn't end up being a) more unhealthy b) very costly, and c) lacking in taste then i would have no problem with it at all, I'd actually support the idea, it could solve quite a few problems

offtopic: this is exactly the reason why the sticky with all the news posts is a bad idea, I normally don't bother with it because it doesn't interest me, but when i read the topic in the forums it did interest me

What about the religous extremists?
I'm sure they will have something to say about this.
screw em, we'd still be living in thatched houses if everyone was one of them
 

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I'm not really against it, but at this rate, we'll all eat synthetic food like in Demolition Man :s
 

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I'm not really against it, but at this rate, we'll all eat synthetic food like in Demolition Man
i doubt it, consumers will want real food as well, just like in Ghost in the shell:SAC even if cyborgs don't need to eat they still eat if only for enjoyment
 

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Ah, yea, maybe...

/me looks for GitS:SAC fansubs, only seen the 2 movies :p
 

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I wonder will the "organic farming" nuts bring up some rumors to attempt to defeat this like they did with the geneticly modified food
 

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Reminds me of a wonderful french movie starring Louis de Funés - I don't know its english name. It dealt with a big corporation producing every kind of food synthetically.
 

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Actually folks will fight it...The millionaire / Billionaires that are making so much profits in the meat production & packing industry.

It is like folks trying to create substitutions for gas and oil....The people that fight to keep it down are the folks making money off of it.
 

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F-3582 said:
Reminds me of a wonderful french movie starring Louis de Funés - I don't know its english name. It dealt with a big corporation producing every kind of food synthetically.
I guess you didn't catch my Soylet Green reference. I'm not sure if its the same movie but its about a corporation producing synthetic foods called Soylents. For some random reason regular food was hard to come by so this company claimed soylent green was made of krill or something. Though in the end of the movie you learn, "Soylent Green is people!" - to quote the main character who I forget the name of.
 

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Vanit said:
I guess you didn't catch my Soylet Green reference. I'm not sure if its the same movie but its about a corporation producing synthetic foods called Soylents. For some random reason regular food was hard to come by so this company claimed soylent green was made of krill or something. Though in the end of the movie you learn, "Soylent Green is people!" - to quote the main character who I forget the name of.
Then it's definitely not the movie I was talking about. "Breast or Leg" (this was my rough translation) took that issue very humorously.
 

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Hmm, if it taste good...I'll eat it. Wheat is murder too you know (I know someone knows what I'm talking about) so I don't really care about killing animals and stuff. If I tasted good, you know, you can eat me as long as you kill me quick.
 

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Aided Onslaught said:
Hmm, if it taste good...I'll eat it. Wheat is murder too you know (I know someone knows what I'm talking about) so I don't really care about killing animals and stuff. If I tasted good, you know, you can eat me as long as you kill me quick.
You are a very sick man
 

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I guess you didn't catch my Soylet Green reference. I'm not sure if its the same movie but its about a corporation producing synthetic foods called Soylents. For some random reason regular food was hard to come by so this company claimed soylent green was made of krill or something. Though in the end of the movie you learn, "Soylent Green is people!" - to quote the main character who I forget the name of.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/

charlton heston/detective robert thorn was the character ;)
 
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