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Vat Meat


  02:23:30 am, by Nimble   , 317 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Science

Vat Meat

It's starting to happen. Serious research into creating meat from cells has already begun. I just noticed one of the headlines recently, but this has been going on for a while. One reason being, if you're going to remain in space for a long time, taking along, feeding and killing animals has its drawbacks.

Experiments of this sort started back in 2001.

It was inevitable, in a way. Much of the science that leads to medical applications, such as growing skin (the idea of skin from an inkjet is cool, too), and the challenges associated with growing more complicated organs, such as livers, all lead to technology that we could actually use to grow meat, especially since the bar for being able to do research on animals is so much lower than that on humans.

I still remember being intrigued at the possibility of "growing" meat from Walter Jon Williams' science fiction book, Angel Station. They grew their meat in vats, in the story. Mmmm, vat meat in space.

There are so many implications of this stuff. How many vegetarians would switch over? There's a distinct lack of animal cruelty in its manufacture, but there's an association. (Perhaps a similar question would be: how many Jews and Muslims eat today's synthetic bacon bits? :) ) What happens to our domestic meat-giving animals?

Personally, I'm all for it, but I'm not going to be a totally early adopter; the first attempts out on the market could be less than stellar. I think it will be 10-15 years before we see it, and if they're smart, they'll advertise it publically on a space mission so that kids will all want their "space meat" :)

In a strange twist, too, I think in some ways, grown steaks will end up being easier to make than grown hot dogs (at least in the "particle board of meat" sense for the tasty ones many of us like!).

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