An IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign for ‘cultured meat production’ has recently ploughed through its first funding milestone of $100,000 in just ten days. This milestone will enable the ‘SuperMeat’ lab to begin experimenting with a technique that allows them to produce meat ‘in-vitro’, i.e. without the need to rear and slaughter livestock. Researchers use a painless procedure to extract a number of ‘satellite cells’ from a live animal: in this case chicken. A single satellite cell can then be used to produce approximately one billion billion (10^18) adult muscle cells.
Meat produced in this way would be indistinguishable from meat produced via conventional methods, and has the potential to dramatically reduce the harmful environmental impacts of the livestock industry. The research team is led by award-winning scientist Yaakov Nahmias, and hopes to reach product availability by July 2021.