3D printed meat: A greener, more humane option or science fiction?

With the backing of Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs, Modern Meadow is a company using cell culture to create 3D printed meat and leather. This technology has application in the realms of product development, fashion, food, and medical testing.

“‘Whether you’re brewing beer or making yogurt, you’re really doing cell culture,’ [Modern Meadow co-founder and CEO Andras Forgacs] says. In this case, though, the process involves biopsying a living animal (a relatively harmless procedure), isolating the desired cells, growing large numbers of them, and preparing them into cell aggregates–spheres of tens of thousands of cells. These aggregates can then become the raw material for more industrial processes. In the case of complete organs, that process is something like 3-D printing. For calfskin–the product that Modern Meadow intends to turn out by the end of the year–it would resemble something more like regular printing or weaving.”

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