Scientists in Japan Are 3D-Printing Meat and Hope to Replicate Wagyu Beef

Experts say this move could one day help address food and protein shortages in the future.

Scientists at Osaka University in Japan are 3D-printing meat and hoping it can be a more sustainable alternative to the country's famous Wagyu beef.

They say the move could also help address food and protein shortages in the future.

Lab-grown or cultured meat produced up to this point has primarily been minced, but researchers are aiming to replicate the high marble content of Wagyu, which sets it apart from other types of beef.

Here's how this would work: First, researchers extracted bovine cells from Japanese black cows. They then use a 3D bioprinter to create individual muscle, blood vessel, and fat fibers before manually piecing them together to create the "meat." 

There is no word on the taste just yet, partly because it takes about a month and costs 10,000 yen or $89 to produce a cubic centimeter of meat.

Once the process is refined and automated, scientists say the meat could be mass-produced within five years, which would bring down the cost.

By developing meat from just a few cells, scientists hope this Wagyu could one day help address food shortage issues. They also believe the technology could one day be applied to regenerative medicine.

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