In order to aid the research of cultured meat as a student, one needs to choose a lab that researches the topic in a direct or non-direct fashion. For that one needs to finish their undergraduate studies, and pick a master project that is somehow related to cultured meat.
Cell growth and bio-reactors
Cells require certain growing conditions in order to properly grow and divide. They feed off of different nutrients, require certain growth factors, adhesion surfaces and matrix that allow their growth. To better understand the conditions that the cells need, a vast knowledge in cellular, molecular, and physical biology is needed. In order to create these conditions, knowledge in engineering, organic chemistry and polymers is needed.
Bio-mechanism and electric signaling
The vast field of cultured engineering relates to the mechanism of the tissues and their electric signals. The mechanism of the cells determines their shape, and the intercellular and extracellular forces determine how they will work together to form the tissue. In addition, a bio-mechanic approach will enable the creation of more efficient scaffolds by the researcher, on which the cells will grow. Electrical pulses are used to stimulate the muscle tissue in the same way that would naturally occur in the animal body to make it contract, and prevent it from dying.
There are a lot of academic degrees one can establish in order to integrate into the research of cultured meat. Each relating a different aspect of the research. The option of retraining is always open, therefore it is unnecessary to put a lot of time and money into applying a certain study, and moreover, quit one in order to change paths, given that they are related.
As a whole, almost any degree in science or engineering will provide one with relevant expertise for cultured meat research (which will allow in turn the application for advanced studies, sometimes with one or two extra semesters needed of additional courses. With that being said, there’s an advantage of engineering over scientific expertise. During a student’s undergraduate studies, it is highly recommended to work as a rotating student in a research lab, in order to obtain the practical experience and contacts that will help one down the road during their advanced academic studies.
Partial list of recommended studies:
- Biomedical engineering (The most recommended one)
- Biotechnological engineering
- Food engineering and security
Choosing the advanced academic path is a more complex and crucial decision. It includes finding a relevant supervisor (a lab researcher in a university) who is interested in guiding the student in their lab in their second or third degree.
It is recommended to scan researchers from different universities all around the world, who are doing research on the topic of cultured meat or topics related to it. Before arriving at an interview it is better to know the researcher’s field of work well and to try to think of possible research projects, that will be as related to the topic of cultured meat as possible.
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