August 16, 2005 Experiments for NASA space missions have shown that small amounts of edible meat can be created in a lab. But the technology that could grow chicken nuggets without the chicken, on a large scale, may not be just a science fiction fantasy. In a recent paper in the Tissue Engineering journal, a team of scientists has proposed two new techniques of tissue engineering that may one day lead to affordable production of in vitro - lab grown - meat for human consumption. It is the first peer-reviewed discussion of the prospects for industrial production of cultured meat. "There would be a lot of benefits from cultured meat," says University of Maryland doctoral student Jason Matheny, who studies agricultural economics and public health. "For one thing, you could control the nutrients. For example, most meats are high in the fatty acid Omega 6, which can cause high cholesterol and other health problems. With in vitro meat, you could replace that with Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.
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