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Animal cells grown on grass could yield next version of lab-grown meat

| | March 21, 2019
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

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.

“The idea was to essentially, rather than feeding a cow grass and then us eating the meat – why don’t we, in quotation marks, ‘feed our cells grass’,” says Scott Allan, a postgraduate student in chemical engineering. “We use it as a scaffold for them to grow on – and we then have an edible scaffold that can be incorporated into the final product.”

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The end product would be pure muscle tissue – basically, lean mince, rather than something with the taste and texture of a chop or steak, which means adding fat cells and connective cells to give it “a bit more taste.”

Read full, original article: Artificial meat: UK scientists growing ‘bacon’ in labs

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