Food from Human DNA

tony leather By tony leather, 17th Apr 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/38mwe4iv/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Technology

Researchers could now, it seems, be only six months from producing artificial meat from human stem cells. Even though these cells would be bred in laboratories, the news did send a wave of fascinated revulsion circling the globe.

Food from Human DNA



The vision that prompted the making of science fiction movie Soylent green was a frightening one, but possibly quite prophetic, as it turns out. In that film, the world population was such that the only way to feed the citizens was by recycling the dead into foodstuffs.

Researchers could now, it seems, be only six months from producing artificial meat from human stem cells. Even though these cells would be bred in laboratories, the news did send a wave of fascinated revulsion circling the globe.

This ghoulish prospect is taking more steps toward fruition with this new technique, enabling the making of gelatin from human DNA. Revolting as this may appear, the idea is attracting interest from both research and industrial circles, Beijing University of Chemical Technology scientists report.

The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry contained a write-up, telling of successful experiments inserting human genes into a strain of yeast to create genetically engineered human gelatin in quantity.

The American Chemical Society see the possibility of this replacing, part at least of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for use in numerous foodstuffs, though safety issues considerations would be intense.

A London ice-cream parlour began selling human breast milk flavours before quickly withdrawing it for reasons of hygiene reasons. Pre-market safety assessment would be rigorous, but scientists believe the new gelatin product would be risk-free, as it constitutes a very similar protein to that ingested for years by most people.

Human-derived gelatin does in fact already feature in certain medicating products, such as human growth hormone and insulin, so the highly controlled laboratory production techniques offering -more consistent product than that produced from bovine and porcine bones and skin could well make for a purer product.

Sapporo Medical University of Japan researchers reported increases in levels of allergic reaction to vaccines created from animal-derived gelatin a less likely occurrence with human material, as would be the transmission of animal-borne diseases such as BSE.

An appetite for human protein, especially among those who remember that film, may be less than enthusiastic, as it will inevitably raise the taboo spectre of cannibalism among the more vociferous opposition within the general public. Even if it were odourless, colourless and tasteless, people would undoubtedly have their doubts, and who can really blame anyone for not wanting to try it, should it ever actually reach the supermarket shelves.

Tags

Artificial Meat, Dna, Findings, Food, Human, Research, Stem Cells

Meet the author

author avatar tony leather
mainly non-fiction articles, though I do write short stories, poetry and descriptive prose as well. Have been writing for over ten years now

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author avatar Buzz
18th Apr 2012 (#)

Yuck! Revolting.:)

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