Contributing Monkie Vanessa Sherwood
Published on September 21, 2006
Would you eat a hamburger if it were made without killing a cow? Jason Matheny, a vegetarian and scientist at the Univerysity of Maryland in College Park, would, and he’s changing the way meat gets to the dinner table.
The technique involves a relatively painless process of removing muscle cells from a live animal through a thin needle, then letting the cells grow and divide in a sort of giant petri dish – a vat kept at the same temperature as the animal’s body and filled with glucose, amino acids and minerals. This nutritional soup is then poured onto large plastic sheets that are continually stretched to “exercise” the cells and keep them growing. After a few weeks, a millimeter-thick sheet of meat can be peeled off, rolled up and minced into hamburger.
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