Welcome to the Newschoolers forums! You may read the forums as a guest, however you must be a registered member to post. Register to become a member today!
Dutch scientists have been growing pork in the laboratory since 2006, and while they admit they haven't gotten the texture quite right (the lab-grown meat has the consistency and feel of scallop), 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.
Several other groups in the U.S., Scandinavia and Japan are also researching ways to make meat in the laboratory, but the Dutch project is the most advanced, said Jason Matheny, who has studied alternatives to conventional meat at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and is not involved in the Dutch research.
In the U.S., similar research was funded by NASA, which hoped astronauts would be able to grow their own meat in space. But after growing disappointingly thin sheets of tissue, NASA gave up and decided it would be better for its astronauts to simply eat vegetarian.
To make pork in the lab, Post and colleagues isolate stem cells from pigs' muscle cells. They then put those cells into a nutrient-based soup that helps the cells replicate to the desired number.
So far the scientists have only succeeded in creating strips of meat about 1 centimeter (a half inch) long; to make a small pork chop, Post estimates it would take about 30 days of cell replication in the lab.
NASA scientists have found meteorites in Antarctica that contain components of DNA (as seen in this artist rendering). Photo: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Smith SEE ALL 78 PHOTOS
While we haven't quite discovered
extra-terrestrial life yet, we may be inching closer. Scientists
worldwide are excited about NASA's recent announcement that the building blocks of DNA have been discovered on several meteorites — and that these meteorites' DNA components are not
the result of any contamination from here on Earth. The discovery adds
weight to the theory that life on our planet may have been started by
meteorites, comets, or other objects that fell to Earth. Here, four key
What did the NASA team find?
Scientists analyzed 12 meteorites — nine of which were found in Antarctica — and discovered that 11 of the 12 meteorites contained traces of adenine and guanine. These are two of the four compounds — called nucleobases — that are needed to form the structure of DNA. The scientists also found three other exotic compounds that are similar to nucleobases, called nucleobase analogs
By comparing the Aboriginal genome with the DNA of African, European and Han Chinese individuals it was possible to highlight the later interbreeding after initial colonisation.
Comparison with Eurasian populations show that the Australian Aborigines have a similar percentage of Neanderthal genes within their DNA as their Eurasian counterparts, suggesting that any interbreeding occurred before the Aborigines embarked on their colonising journey.
The findings of these researchers are supported by an independent study, published this week in the American Journal of Human Genetics, which looks at the characteristic DNA from an extinct, archaic form of human, the Denisovans.