Meat grown in the lab from cultured stem cells may be hitting the market sooner than one might guess; lab-grown sausages may be as little as 6 months away, reports the New Scientist.
Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands recently succeeded in growing pig muscle in the lab. Millions of animal lives could be saved and the process will be more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
Although researcher Mark Post subjects his lab-grown meat to exercise on a daily basis -- by anchoring it to Velcro and literally stretching the cells --so it bulks up as much as it would on a living animal, the meat is still unappetizing because it has no blood, Post said. "It's white because there's no blood in it, and very little myoglobin, the iron-bearing protein. We are looking at ways to build up the myoglobin content to give it color."Next stop is beef. "I'm hopeful we can have a hamburger in a year," Post told New Scientist.