South Carolina Lab Trying to Grow Meat

Scientist has big plans but little money
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2011 5:17 PM CST
South Carolina Lab Trying to Grow Meat
Photo illustration   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – The world's growing population has already brought predictions of the need for fake meat to feed everyone, and one South Carolina scientist can't wait. Vladimir Mironov of the Medical University of South Carolina is one of a few scientists around the world trying to perfect the technique, reports Reuters. "It will be functional, natural, designed food," he says. "How do you want it to taste? You want a little bit of fat, you want pork, you want lamb? We design exactly what you want. We can design texture."

He's got names picked out: "Charlem," short for Charleston Engineered Meat, will be grown in a "carnery"—get it? wine is made in a winery and beer in a brewery, so... The carnery might be a factory with giant bioreactors, or those bioreactors might be in something the size of a coffee machine in supermarkets. What Mironov doesn't have is the big government funding necessary to make this a reality. "It's classic disruptive technology," he says. "Bringing any new technology on the market, average, costs $1 billion. We don't even have $1 million." So for now, he mostly "conducts research on tissue engineering, or growing, of human organs," says Reuters. (Read more meat stories.)

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