Have you finished eating? You might want to before reading on. This blog post could turn your stomach.
Researchers in Japan have synthesised meat from human sewage. Here’s the video and it is doing the rounds on the internet like nobody’s business.
Are you sitting there barely holding onto your last meal? That’s okay. I have some instant relief for you. I think this news story is a hoax. I know it’s been reported at all sorts of places including Yahoo News:
A report is also over at Digital Trends
And just one more report, this time from the International Business Times,
I would love to report on the chemistry involved in synthesising meat from human waste because I would imagine the chemistry to be fascinating and clever. There are so many people to feed on this planet and a lot of people do go hungry every day but there just isn’t any chemistry to write on.
News this big would have press releases and a lot of information available for everyone to read. Currently, all there is, is a Youtube video of a laboratory in Japan and a few news sites printing the same information. This isn’t enough to make it a true story. I have tried searching for the “Okayama Laboratory” in Google where Professor Mitsuyuki Ikeda is based at and there is a laboratory but they don’t have much to do with synthesising meat. The laboratory makes medical devices, things that you would do your best to keep poop away as far as possible.
But it could be possible that I can’t find the laboratory because the website I’m looking for is in Japanese so I do a quick search of the scientific literature available searching for “Mitsuyuki Ikeda” and “meat synthesis”. I did not get any result. Nothing. Such amazing science and no one wants to publish their work in a science journal but is happy to let media outlets report on it? This isn’t how science is reported. No scientist I know skips publishing something somewhere.
I did find one hit for “Mitsuyuki Ikeda” away from the poop meat stories and it is for a Mitsuyuki Ikeda, the Director of the Okayama UNESCO Association with special qualifications listed as Consulting Engineer (Environment and Civil Engineer); Environmental Counsellor. His projects currently include educational activities on the environment and conservation. A few details are close but not close enough.
I can see one good thing coming from the messages from people who think that this is a real news story and that is that people think that the chemistry and other sciences needed to do this is possible. There’s no harm dreaming and extending our limits but I do wish that people did ask a few questions or stopped long enough to do some fact checking.
- Japanese scientist creates ‘poop burger’? Surely not (news.cnet.com)