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These Japanese Bio-Hackers Are Growing Affordable Meat in A Lab – Shojinmeat

By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

Growing our meat in a lab or factory has been a science fiction staple for decades, but much like jetpacks, it has never quite worked out in practice -- at least not at scale. Yuki Hanyu and his team at Shojinmeat, however, are changing that. Actually, scientists have been growing muscle tissue in labs for more than 100 years, but Shojinmeat has developed techniques that bring the cost down to less than one 1,000th of traditional approaches. Now, that still leaves it too expensive for most commercial applications, but Yuki explains how his team (and others) will bring the costs down into the commercial range very soon. We also talk about both why Japanese life-sciences startups have such a hard time raising money in Japan and how Shojinmeat found a way to make the system work for them. It’s a great discussion, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Show Notes for Startups How do you grow meat in the Lab? Why cellular agriculture doesn’t get funding Is lab-grown meat kosher? Combining open research and patent protection How to bring down the cost of cultured meat Solving the taste problem How cultured meat will become available Links from the Founder Everything you ever wanted to know about Shojinmeat How Integriculture is commercializing lab-grown meat Check out Yuki's blog Follow him on twitter @yukihanyu1 New Havest talks about Yuki's project [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7994466"] Leave a comment Transcript from Japan Disrupting Japan, episode 83. Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan’s most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Today we’re going to talk about the future of meat. Many would say the future of humanity, but really today we’re just going to talk about the meat. Yuki Hanyu and his team at ShojinMeat are growing meat in the lab, and they’re doing it at a tiny fraction of the cost of traditional methods. Actually, it turns out that lab-grown meat or cellular agriculture—as the discipline is actually called—is not particularly new. It’s been in active development all over the world for well over 100 years. What’s different about ShojinMeat, however is that they’ve been able to bring the cost down by an astounding three orders of magnitude. And that brings a technology within striking distance of a lot of practical uses. We dive into the actual science behind cellular agriculture. And if you can follow all of it, it means that you’re a huge biology nerd, and I love you for it. Otherwise, it would be good just to let the science wash over you. It’s a pretty amazing topic. Another thing we talk about is why Japanese life sciences start-ups have such a hard time both raising money and growing here in Japan. And how ShojinMeat meat has found a way to make the system work for them. But you know, Yuki tells that story much better than I can so let’s hear from our sponsor, and get right to the interview. [pro_ad_display_adzone id="1404"  info_text="Sponsored by"  font_color="grey" ] [Interview] Tim: So I’m sitting here with Yuki Hanyu of ShojinMeat, and thanks for sitting down with me. Yuki: Thank you very much for inviting me to the podcast. Tim: Today we’re going to talk about meat. Yuki: Yeah, meat. Tim: And most specifically, cellular agriculture. So to get started. Why don’t you explain what what ShojinMeat is? Yuki: We are a collection of volunteer students, artists, and people of various disciplines to develop cultured meat technology. Tim: So it’s a bio-hacker community here in Tokyo, right? Yuki: Yes. Tim: So how long have you been doing this. Yuki: If you’re talking about active wet novelty work, that will be about a year and a half. Tim: Okay. Yuki: And if you’re talking about people building a team, that would be about two and a half years. Tim: Alright. Okay, well actually before we go forward in this,

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