In the future, a lot of researchers are likely to come out of the Petri dish. We regularly hear what natural things can already be grown in the laboratory today, in addition to meat and stem cells, wood is now also joining us. Because if the material comes from the laboratory, we could make some climate-damaging processes unnecessary and unattractive.
The wood from the laboratory was recently presented by Luis Fernando Velásquez-García, who Researchers involved in this project are from Microsystems Technology Laboratories. Wood is “grown” without the aid of fertilizer or the sun. The basis is the zinnia, from whose leaves living cells are extracted. These are then cultivated.
A special solution is used, through which the cells can metabolize and multiply. The resulting cell culture is then converted into a gel and further enriched. Because, as Velásquez-García made clear, plant cells are similar to human stem cells and can therefore develop in all directions. The different concentration of two hormones is crucial.
If the concentration of the two hormones is correctly adjusted, then lignin is produced, a polymer that is responsible for the stability of wood. The gel then serves as a scaffold to stimulate the cells to grow into a certain shape. Gradually, a certain shape with the same properties as wood would emerge in this way.
The researchers have come a long way However, it is still a long way from being ready for the market. But if technology catches on in a few years, we can further reduce our ecological footprint through less clearing and production as required. So maybe one day the IKEA table will arrive in the mail in a test tube and then gradually grow in your living room. 🙂
It is unbelievable which substances can already be produced in the test tube today. In addition to meat, which is already being sold in Singapore, and embryos that are selected using in-vitro fertilization, a natural building material is now being added. Sometimes this is almost a bit scary, but if it benefits the general public, then such methods should continue to be researched.