New Harvest Network member Nick Walker of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa studies muscle cell differentiation as influenced by various extracellular matrix (ECM) components. In other words, how what muscle cells grow on can help them turn into mature muscle fibres.
He will be attending the Indian Ocean Rim Muscle Colloquium Dec 12-13, 2013 in Singapore to present his work and to spread the word of cultured meat and New Harvest among the rock stars of skeletal muscle tissue engineering.
Have a great time in Singapore, Nick!
Nick Genovese, who is currently doing PETA-funded research on cultured meat at the University of Missouri, just gave a presentation in Irvine, CA on October 30th. The presentation“Evolution Toward a ‘Cultured Meat’: The Domestication of Cell Culture” was part of the National Academy of Sciences’ Distinctive Voices programming.
We will happily be sharing the videotaped talk when it becomes available.
New Harvest’s Director Isha Datar recently attended the EPINET workshop on the issue of public funding and social shaping of cultured meat in Utrecht, the Netherlands, October 26-28th. EPINET is an EU funded project under the seventh framework program, coordinated by the Centre for the studies of the sciences and humanities, University of Bergen, Norway. Isha was invited to take part in this project for the unique role that New Harvest plays in terms of finding public funding and connecting researchers.
The discussion included many members of the New Harvest’s board and the cultured meat community: Mark Post of Maastricht University, Stig Omholt of the previous In Vitro Meat Consortium, Julie Gold of Chalmers University of Technology, Bernard Roelen and Henk Haagsman of Utrecht University, Marianne Ellis of the University of Bath, Clemens Driessen and Cor Van Der Weele of Wageningen University, Hanna Tuomisto of the Joint Research Council at the European Commission, and Neil Stephens form Cardiff University.
Lots of excellent discussion about what meat is, cultured meat vs. in vitro meat, the technical challenges that cultured meat faces, and the public shaping challenges ahead.
Very importantly, there was discussion about the Horizon 2020 funding scheme being introduced by the European Commission later this year. This funding scheme is a follow up to the FP7 funding scheme, and it is a funding program for research and innovation among European Commission member states. With guidance for how cultured meat could be applicable to the grants being offered, the EPINET project was of great use to New Harvest and the community members in attendance.
Photo taken by Isha of Utrecht University’s Faculty Club, where the meeting took place.
It’s become apparent that media articles about cultured meat are outpacing peer-reviewed, academic articles. To cope with this, and to give New Harvest’s community a better idea of where we are in the science, we’re starting a journal club!
Administrated by volunteer Rebekah Feng, the journal club will review and edit a paper together every three weeks. Edits and comments about the paper will be discussed in the Journal Club Forum. The first paper will be available in the forum for discussion on November 6th!
We’ll be reading papers related to meat alternatives from health sciences, tissue engineering, environmental sciences, philosophy and more.
We’re no longer accepting reviewers and editors for this session, but if you’d like to follow along and provide your input, you can sign up here.
Today New Harvest’s Isha Datar met with Koert Van Mensvoort of Next Nature at the beautiful Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Koert’s team is running the crowdfunding campaign to create the first cultured meat cookbook (years in advance of its existence, of course!).
If you’re interested in being part of this exciting and futuristic project, please check out the campaign and order a cookbook!
New Harvest will be contributing a essay to the book, alongside a futuristic restaurant review by Robert Bolton.
Photo of the Stedelijk Museum, taken by Isha
New Harvest’s Isha Datar was requested to take Mark Post’s place at the Product Innovation Congress in Chicago, IL, USA, October 9th and 10th.
Taking place at the beautiful Indian Lakes resort, Isha spoke about cultured animal products with her talk “The Future is Cultured: The Next Generation of Animal Products.”
The organizers create product lifecycle software, and attendees were primarily interested in product development and product lifecycles. Of course cultured leather and meat and very exciting topics for anyone thinking how products develop and enter the market. The talk was followed by a mind-opening question and answer period.
When video of this talk is available, you’ll be sure to see it here!
Photo by Isha of Indian Lakes Resort, where the PI Congress US 2013 took place.
New Harvest’s Isha Datar participated in a panel discussion at SXSW Eco in Austin, TX, USA, October 6-8th, organized by IEEE. IEEE (Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers) is the world’s largest professional organization for the advancement of technology. Their magazine, IEEE Spectrum, recently wrote a great piece - maybe the best so far this year – on plant-based meat alternatives, The Better Meat Substitute.
IEEE put together a panel with Isha from New Harvest, Pablos Holman from Intellectual Ventures (famous for the Modernist Cuisine cookbooks), and Glenn Zorpette, the author of the article above. The panel topic was “Hunger Solutions: Feeding 10 Billion People” and covered technologies that could help feed the world.
The panel was followed by some very stimulating conversation – about how technology developments can mutually exist with a slow food movement; about how food needs more data; about how tailored diets are the future of nutrition; about how to 3D print a pizza. Cultured meat opened some minds, without a doubt.
The discussion closed with a tasting of foods made with cricket flour and whole crickets – no doubt another protein alternative we should open our minds to.
New Harvest is a 9 year old organization but still a baby – this was New Harvest’s first year with a full time Director.
If you’d like to see how we’ve been doing so far this year, please email email@example.com to request a copy of the third quarter update!
New Harvest Network member Hanna Tuomisto, who published the highly-cited Environmental Impacts of Cultured Meat research in 2011, just gave an oral presentation at the First International Global Food Security Conference on the “Global potential of cultured meat to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use.”
The conference took place in Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands and included 600 participants from over 65 countries.
Good work, Hanna!
NH teamed up with Marianne Ellis, New Harvest board member and chemical engineer specializing in bioreactors for tissue engineering at the University of Bath; and David Benque, a speculative designer with the Design Interactions Program at the Royal College of Art in London and applied for a public engagement grant in the UK.
The grant is run by the Royal Academy of Engineering and is designed to:
Our idea is to develop a speculative design workshop focused on cultured meat for engineers across the UK. The workshop would get engineers involved in public engagement and futuristic thinking, while also interesting them in cultured meat research. After all, not few have called cultured meat “an engineering problem.”
Fingers crossed, you’ll be sure to find out here what happened with our application!