Wednesday 3 April 2019

Artificial meat: UK scientists growing 'bacon' in labs

By Helen Briggs BBC News, Science and Environment
19 March 2019
British scientists have joined the race to produce meat grown in the lab rather than reared on the hoof.
Scientists at the University of Bath have grown animal cells on blades of grass, in a step towards cultured meat.
If the process can be reproduced on an industrial scale, meat lovers might one day be tucking into a slaughter-free supply of "bacon".
The researchers say the UK can move the field forward through its expertise in medicine and engineering.
Lab-based meat products are not yet on sale, though a US company, Just, has said its chicken nuggets, grown from cells taken from the feather of chicken that is still alive, will soon be in a few restaurants.
Chemical engineer Dr Marianne Ellis, of the University of Bath, sees cultured meat as "an alternative protein source to feed the world". Cultured pig cells are being grown in her laboratory, which could one day lead to bacon raised entirely off the hoof.
In the future, you would take a biopsy from a pig, isolate stem (master) cells, grow more cells, then put them into a bioreactor to massively expand them, says postgraduate student Nick Shorten of Aberystwyth University.
"And the pig's still alive and happy and you get lots of bacon at the end."
To replicate the taste and texture of bacon will take years of research. For structure, the cells must be grown on a scaffold.

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