Lab-Grown Meat Can Be Produced Faster With Magnets, Cruelty-Free


Photo 192824810 © Monikabaumbach |


The current rate of meat consumption worldwide is placing a great strain on our planet. To remedy this, scientists worldwide are and fixating on the production and acceleration of lab-grown meat. Typically, this food source is made by extracting animal cells and mixing them in a concoction of different nutrients, then left to grow. 
Scientists have now found a way to better control and quicken the pace of the process by using magnetic fields to manipulate the cells. 
Currently, along with long waiting times, other animal products are also needed in the production of lab-grown meat. For example, the cells are fed animal serum—like fetal bovine serum (FBS) from slaughtered pregnant cows—to promote growth. Unfortunately, this essentially defeats the purpose of reducing reliance on animals as a food source. 
To eliminate this, a team at the National University of Singapore has developed a method using magnets to stimulate growth instead. 
The cells are zapped with magnetic pulses, which culture myogenic stem cells, often found in the bones and marrow of animals. In only 10 minutes, the team began to see the cells growing molecules that have regenerative, metabolic, and anti-inflammatory properties. 


Image via National University of Singapore

What is produced is known as muscle secretome, which is needed for the development and survival of the meat.
The results show a promising future for labs that safely grow meat at a low cost without needing other animal intervention. According to Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón, who worked on the project, these cells know how to grow; they only need a little encouragement when not in their natural body. Magnets can step up and fulfill that role. 


Image via National University of Singapore


The researchers hope that this new method would replace the current system of using FBS to grow cells.
Culturing cells is also believed to work for regenerative medicine, as magnets can help unhealthy cells heal and grow, and the team hopes to bring the new method to the medical field as well. 


[via Interesting Engineering and the National University of Singapore, images via various sources]

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