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Biotech Science Technology

Lab-Grown Leather Could Be a Reality In 5 Years 165

Posted by timothy
from the looking-forward-to-leather-sheets dept.
fangmcgee writes "Lab-grown leather apparel could hit the runways in as little as five years—all without harming a hair on a single animal's head, according to Andras Forgacs, co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, a Missouri-based startup that's approaching meat-and-leather production from a tissue-bioengineering, rather than farming, point of view. Backed by Breakout Labs, the grant-awarding foundation headed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Modern Meadow seeks to combine regenerative medicine with three-dimensional printing to synthesize leather and ultimately meat."
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Lab-Grown Leather Could Be a Reality In 5 Years

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:46PM (#41451241)

    If you have a moral objection to real leather, buy fake.
    If you don't have any moral objection, buy real.
    Or, if you don't like leather, buy neither.

    Any one of these three options will be a LOT cheaper than anything grown in a lab. And I seriously doubt this will ever be able to scale.

  • by AttillaTheNun (618721) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:49PM (#41451285)

    I could discover sustainable cold fusion in as little as 5 years. Of course, there is always the chance it may take me longer, or forever.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:50PM (#41451303)

    Leather as a material is actually very interesting.

    Light, Flexible, Sturdy, Tough, and a great insulator.

    Still there isn't a replacement for it in a lot of protective gear. Such as Motorcycle jackets, they are not to make you look bad-ass but if you fall off your bike as an armor so you don't scrape yourself all up. Metal and Plastic is too ridgid, or too flimsy. Leather has the perfect use.

    However I don't see much of a market for artificial leather, only because we are still eating cows. Most farms don't produce leather only cattle, but beef cattle what use the hides for leather.

    Now if this technology makes affordable meat like it thinks it could, then perhaps artifical leather can come in.

  • by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @12:56PM (#41451385)

    There are plenty of synthetic replacements for motorcycle leather at much the same price, mostly in the kevlar family, approximately.

  • false ethics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2012 @04:23PM (#41455113)

    I am an omnivore, and I maintain that it is no more unethical for me to kill and eat animals than it is for chimps,bear, dogs, racoons, or any other omnivore to kill and eat animals.

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