PETA wants vat meat researchers to pick up the pace, and they’re pledging $1 million to the first research team that can come up with competitively priced fake meat by 2012. It appears this schedule might be too ambitious for researchers to meet, but in any case it’s only going to spur greater interest in the field.
Excerpt from NYT article about the prize:
Henk P. Haagsman, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and an in vitro meat research pioneer, said he welcomed the prize competition.
“It will hopefully spark more interest to invest in the technology,” Professor Haagsman said.
But he said he would not like to see the field dominated by the animal welfare issue, since environmental and public health issues are such important “drivers for this research.” The Netherlands has put $5 million into in vitro meat studies.
Another scientist at Utrecht, Bernard Roelen, said via e-mail that he was “rather surprised” by news of the competition, but said that even with strong financing, it would be extremely difficult to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat before 2012. Professor Roelen added, “For me as a researcher, the announcement does not mean so much.”
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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