Mmm, Tasty Duck From A Petri Dish
You'd eat duck from a dish. Well, duck muscle tissue, anyway.
In a tiny R&D suite in a nondescript office building in the unglamorous Silicon Valley exurb of San Leandro, a lanky, red-haired molecular biologist named Eric Schulze is fiddling with a microscope, and I'm about to get a look at that better way. Like the specimen he'll show me, Schulze is something of a hybrid. Formerly a Food and Drug Administration regulator, he's now an educator, TV host, and senior scientist at Memphis Meats, the company that Valeti founded in 2016 and whose laboratory he is showing me. Lining one wall is a HEPA-filtered tissue cabinet, to which someone has affixed a "Chicken Crossing" sign, and a meat freezer labeled "Angus." Along the opposite wall is an incubator dialed to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, the body temperature of Anas platyrhynchos domesticus--the domestic duck.
Schulze plucks a petri dish from the incubator, positions it under the microscope, and then invites me to look into the twin eyepieces. "Do you see those long, skinny things? Those are muscle-forming cells," he says. "These are from a duck that's off living its life somewhere." The cells look like strands of translucent spaghetti, with bright dots--nuclei, Schulze says--sprinkled here and there.
He removes that petri dish and inserts another. In it, scattered among the spaghetti strands, are shorter, fatter tubes, like gummy worms. Those, he explains, are mature muscle cells. Over the next few days, they'll join together in long chains, end to end, and become multicellular myotubes. These chains will form swirls and whorls until they look like the sky in Van Gogh's Starry Night. Also, Schulze casually notes, "they'll start spontaneously contracting."
Wait. Contracting? As in ... flexing?
"This is all living tissue. So, yes," Schulze says.
The idea of a dish full of duck mince suddenly beginning to twitch and squirm makes me shake my head. What's making duck bits move if not a brain and nerves? Schulze is used to this reaction. "For the past 12,000 years, we've assumed that when I say the word 'meat,' you think 'animal,' " he says. "Those two ideas are concatenated. We've had to decouple them."
Science fiction writers have been sure that you'll wind up eating meat grown without an animal - see the entry for vat meat from The End of the Line, a 1951 story by James Schmitz, as well as the synthetic food from Unto Us A Child Is Born (1933) by David H. Keller.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/20/2017)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Electronic Tongues Will Rule The Kitchen
'Install taste buds in the end of one tentacle...' - Anthony Boucher, 1943
Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing
Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.
Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."
Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'
Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.
ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.
When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'
Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'
'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'
Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'
Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'
Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.
Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'
Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'
Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'
CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.
SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories