Meatable uses adult stem cells - hematopoietic, so from the blood of cow umbilical cords - which are turned into induced pluripotent stem cells and then grown in a bioreactor to take the place of all that water, grain, and time. They are differentiated into meat and fat cells, stimulated using electricity. It sounds simple enough but they will face challenges on multiple fronts - naturalists insist if the steer was not raised on a ranch, it isn't meat, while Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, and more are opposed to all biotechnology and will call it Frankenmeat for their clients in the organic beef segment.
It's not just steers, they can do it with chicken and pigs too, and unlike "plant" meat, such as the Impossible Burger, they say this will be real meat, just grown in a lab in Europe rather than grazing land in Texas. They believe their approach is completely scalable. The U.S. alone is a $200 billion market which means worldwide the potential is $1 trillion. That's a home run, if they can get animal rights groups to fight off the anti-science activists that are waiting to pounce.
Investors are willing to take a flyer. They have raised $3.5 million. But the clock is ticking. Though lab meat has been talked about for decades, in the last few years the promise has really started to show. So getting to market early will be important. The company hopes to have a hamburger ready in three years.
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