The guy who is making human ears out of apples
We’re already familiar with meat being grown in a lab and eggs that come out of bottles, but what happens we we take existing plant matter (i.e our food) and manipulate it so that it resembles a human body part.
Andrew Pelling is a Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, where he directs a curiosity-driven research lab. The lab uses low-cost materials and methods to explore living technologies of the future. In short, he is a bio-hacker.
What is a bio-hacking? This article describes it as “a fairly new practice that could lead to major changes in our life.” In other words – exploring the world of biology and coming up with unique and sustainable ways to create new products or (in Andrew’s case), human body parts.
It’s all about the cellulose, that tough protein framework that gives fruits their structure. Andrew took this structure and filled it up with “cultured mammal cells” that began dividing. Twelve weeks later, he had an ear.
It’s not uncommon to hear of new body parts being created from cells in a lab environment but when have you ever heard or seen it being done with an apple? That you eat. For breakfast.