Animal rights group PETA is offering a $1 million prize for the development of commercially-viable "test-tube meat" — real meat grown through a lab process, not from a live animal. The prize money would be awarded to the contest participant able to make the first in vitro chicken meat and sell it to the public by June 30, 2012.
To win, the lab-grown meat must have a taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh, be produced in sufficiently large quantities to be sold commercially, and successfully sold at a competitive price in at least 10 states.
The process would likely involve some of the same techniques used now by medical researchers to grow tissue for medical procedures — but would also need special conditions to produce tastes and textures similar to those for natural meat.
Researcher Vladimir Mironov weighs in on how close scientists are getting to being able to grow a lab-made steak for your weekend cookout.