Dutch scientists are trying to create meat in the lab. If they succeed, the hope is that people can eat pork—and presumably other meats—without the need to raise and butcher food animals, which is seen as more humane and environmentally friendly. From the story:
Under the process, researchers first isolate muscle stem cells, which have the ability to grow and multiply into muscle cells. Then they stimulate the cells to develop, give them nutrients and exercise them with electric current to build bulk.I certainly have no objection to this, although I doubt it will go very far. There are billions of mouths to feed in the world and I wonder if growing meat in the lab could ever be done with sufficient efficiency and productivity to succeed commercially. But in limited cases, such as space travel (as mentioned in the story), it could fit the bill.
After perfecting that process, scientists will then need to figure out how to layer tissues to add more bulk, since meat grown in petri dishes lacks the blood vessels needed to deliver nutrients through thick muscle fibers.
Growing muscle in the lab from adult stem cells could also have tremendous human medical application.