Cultured Meat Straight From The Vat

Science fiction fans - start your grills! Two new techniques of tissue engineering may lead to affordable production of lab-grown, cultured meat for human consumption. These proposals were published in the June 29th issue of Tissue Engineering, and are the first peer-reviewed discussions for large-scale production of cultured meat. SF authors like Frank Herbert, H. Beam Piper and Larry Niven gave fans a taste of this concept decades ago.

Keep in mind that this is not simply reprocessed meat, like beef jerky. This is a system that actually grows meat without a living animal; just add nutrients for the cells and they multiply by the millions.

"There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," says doctoral student Jason 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."

Experiments with fish tissue done in NASA experiments have created small amounts of edible meat. However, the NASA experiments were done on a very small scale and are not suitable for large-scale production.

One new technique suggested by the authors is to grow the cells in large flat sheets on thin membranes; suitably stretched sheets of meat would be stacked one on top of another to increase thickness. The second method involves growing muscle cells on small three-dimensional beads that stretch with small changes in temperature. The cells could then be harvested and turned into a processed meat, like nuggets or hamburgers.


(Kobe Beef Cow (Wagyu Lineage) Anxiously Awaiting Research News)

Fat cells would be added for flavor; the meat would need to be "stretched" or exercised, to give it the familiar texture.

"The benefits could be enormous," Matheny says. "The demand for meat is increasing world wide -- China 's meat demand is doubling every ten years... With a single cell, you could theoretically produce the world's annual meat supply...

In his excellent 1969 novel Whipping Star, Frank Herbert wrote about pseudoflesh, meat protein that was produced apart from an animal:

"Where would they get a real steer?"

"There are some around for story props in the various entertainment media, that sort of thing. A few of the outback planets where they haven't the technology for pseudoflesh still raise cattle for food."
(Read more about pseudoflesh)

H. Beam Piper's 1962 novel The Space Vikings made use of carniculture vats:

Every Viking ship had its own carniculture vats, but men tired of carniculture meat, and fresh meat was always in demand.


(The Space Vikings)

Larry Niven also wrote a great Draco Tavern story about this same topic; I think it was Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing!. I don't want to spoil the story - look for it in Niven's Laws or other collections.

Read more at Paper Says Edible Meat Can Be Grown in a Lab on Industrial Scale. Thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/6/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 18 )

Related News Stories - (" Food ")

Chowbotics Salad Robot, Sally
'... gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912.

Tomatoes From Sun And Seawater
'Hydroponics. Gotta almost do it, if I'm going way out to Mars without much supplies.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1961.

In Vitro Meatballs For SciFi Spaghetti
'Large laboratories in every city had produced synthetic food and meats, grown in large test tubes..." - David H. Keller, 1933.

7-Eleven Drone Delivers Chix Sandwich And Slurpee
'It was a smooth ovoid floating a few inches from the floor...'- H. Beam Piper, 1962.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Cattle Avoidance Feature In Indian Autonomous Cars
'The driver went about the business of gently slipping the teflon-coated metal scoop beneath the first animal...'

Project KOVR Fashion Protection From Infosphere
'... the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond.'

Twist Bioscience High Density Digital Data On DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!'

'We're Not Creating A Terminator' Say Russians About Gun-Wielding Robot Fedor
Nobody is thinking about the Terminator. Westworld, maybe.

Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
'... the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings.'

Is 'The Pulsar Positioning System' Evidence For SETI?
'For a hyperspace jump, you need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

Someday, You Might Like VR Enough To Move In
'That barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Humans Use Mental Power For Turtle Slavery
Now we need to start looking for animals with fingers...

Solar-Powered Moisture Vaporator
'The atmosphere yielded its moisture with reluctance.'

DxtER! Tricorder Prize Won By Final Frontier Medical Devices
We've been waiting a long time for this, Star Trek fans.

President Trump's Wall As Otra Nation Hyperloop
'...an hollow tube must be constructed the whole distance... as to admit a four wheeled carriage...'

Pickup Lines From Artificial Intelligences
'They hate us, you know... The humans. They'll stop at nothing.'

Pooper Scooper Drone Robot Watchdog 1
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk...'

Cassie Robot Brings AT-ST Walker To Life
There's even a log test!

Hundreds Of Robot Lawnmowers Invade Texas Town
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.