Amit Gefen of Maastricht University in the Netherlands is working on a way for poultry lovers to (ethically) get their wings. He wants to grow chicken meat in a test tube.
You might have heard of the experiments that created the first lab-grown meat over the past few years. That was beef, and it was a crude mixture of muscle fiber and stem cells that tasted ... not great, according to those who ate it. Gefen wants to start at the cellular level to build the lab-grown chicken so that his creation would resemble the tasty white meat you know and love.
Gefen hopes to unveil his plan by the end of the year, though thus far he's been mum on the details of how he'll accomplish it. The Modern Agricultural Foundation is supporting his work, which comes on the heels of no one claiming the $1 million prize from PETA to grow chicken meat from cellular material.
Lab-grown chicken isn't just a step toward meat without murder. If it can be done efficiently, it could also help solve another problem for the meat industry: that big agriculture puts a big hurt on the environment. Lab-grown meat could cut agricultural carbon emissions by as much as 96 percent and drastically reduce water usage. It could help the environment and reduce factory farming—though it certainly won't make fried chicken any healthier.