One of the most exciting movements in 3D printing these days is the idea that we can create human tissue. In an equally amazing innovation, the same technology can be applied to animal tissue. As such, some researchers are now looking into how we may be able to artificially grow beef and other meats to prevent animal overpopulation.
In a recent TED Talk, Andras Forgacs, co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, talks about his firm's aspirations to grow meat and leather in a lab. The process requires researchers to take cells from living animals and then growing those cells until they can be assembled into meat. This may then lead to researchers being able to 3D print meat.
In the below video, Forgacs says that his company is currently making lab-grown leather. He shows off the very first samples of this leather and says that it being grown in a lab allows researchers to control aspects of its production that can't be done with normal leather production. For example. lab-grown leather can be cultured to be completely transparent, or soft to the touch.
If any of this sounds too far out for you, just remember that humans have already eaten lab-grown meat. The first lab-grown hamburger was served back in August. The taste testers reported that it tasted like meat, but was lacking in the fat that provides much of the texture and flavor in current meat products.[Image: TED]