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Technology and society

Hannes Sjob
Chief Disruption Officer
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piqer: Hannes Sjob
Sunday, 29 April 2018

Japanese Biohackers Make "Clean Meat" In A Lab

Our meat consumption isn’t sustainable. But lab made meat has the potential to fundamentally transform the human food chain. This will have a planetary-wide impact, providing an eco-friendly and safe source of animal protein. And innovation is not just happening in universities and corporate research facilities: at-home biohackers are already making it happen.

“His English is a little broken, but his instructions are so clear I pause to wonder, 'Well, why aren’t I growing a lab meat in my kitchen?'”

The author is referring a conversation with Yuki Hanyu on the growing ‘clean meat’ community. Japan-based Hanyu, who holds a PhD in chemistry, is more than a mere enthusiast on the subject. With the Shojinmeat Project, he connects roughly 30 DIY citizen scientists across Japan — often schoolkids — who all grow artificial meat in their own homes. Apart from offering each other advice and exchanging experience, the group frequently post articles as well as pictures of their work, sharing both their insights and their enthusiasm with others.

In the article, Hanyu describes the delicate process of making meat from cells in a fertilized egg — involving dry ice, centrifuge and an incubator in true Do It Yourself style. The Shojinmeat Project isn’t the only thing Hanyu is up to — in 2015 he funded the start-up company Integriculture, with the hopes of creating “a general purpose large-scale cell culture system”.

With Integriculture Hanyu looks beyond meat, departing from similar companies by thinking in more general terms. Among other things, the company plans on using its cell-growing technology to create customized products for cosmetics and supplement companies. Further out, they want to create a clean-meat infrastructure that they could license out to other companies, reaching a broader market.

“Until lab meat becomes more mainstream, however, Shojinmeat will be growing its own culture of DIY enthusiasts who create their own meat at home. Will you be among them?”

Japanese Biohackers Make "Clean Meat" In A Lab
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