Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Mind

Better Off Ted: Test Tube Meat

Science Not FictionBy Stephen CassMarch 27, 2009 5:19 AM
veridian.jpg

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

ABC's new comedy, Better Off Ted, is centered around the antics of the research and development division of the only-slightly-fictional mega corporation Veridian Dynamics. It's a funny show -- it doesn't have a stream of constant zingers, but the cast has chemistry and the characters are enjoyable. Last night's episode was about a crash project to grow beef (or at least something beeflike) without the cow. Unfortunately, according to the company's long suffering food taster, their initial efforts tasted more like "despair." Growing edible meat in a vat is classic staple of science fiction, but its has also been a goal of several real researchers ever since 1908, when Alexi Carrel kept some chicken heart tissue alive and growing in a nutrient bath. The pace has quickened since the turn of the 21st century, with the non-profit research organization New Harvest being founded in 2004 to support work in developing "cultured meat." As pointed out at the conclusion of last night's episode of Better off Ted, the problem isn't so much the basic idea, but getting it to work economically. There's also the issue of making sure the end result is something that is close enough to the taste and mouthfeel of real meat so that consumers will accept it. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if this piece of science fiction didn't become science fact in the next ten to twenty years.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In