Monday, January 18, 2010

Makin' Bacon... a little squishy

Scientists turn stem cells into pork

The texture of the meat as sort of like scallop, firm but a little squishy

In this image of a photomicrograph of muscle, tissue shows muscle fibers are seen diagonally from lower left to upper right. The blue dots are the nuclei of the cells, the yellow color is the result of an overlay (green and red) of two of the most important proteins in skeletal muscle, actin and myosin.

By Maria Cheng
updated 12:57 p.m. CT, Fri., Jan. 15, 2010

LONDON - Call it pork in a petri dish — a technique to turn pig stem cells into strips of meat that scientists say could one day offer a green alternative to raising livestock, help alleviate world hunger, and save some pigs their bacon.

Dutch scientists have been growing pork in the laboratory since 2006, and while they admit they haven't gotten the texture quite right or even tasted the engineered meat, they say the technology promises to have widespread implications for our food supply.

"If we took the stem cells from one pig and multiplied it by a factor of a million, we would need one million fewer pigs to get the same amount of meat," said Mark Post, a biologist at Maastricht University involved in the In-vitro Meat Consortium, a network of publicly funded Dutch research institutions that is carrying out the experiments.

Posted via email from Pa^2 Patois

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