While Star Trek replicators are still not a reality, there are proposals to produce lab-grown meat as a substitute for the footed-variety as a source. New Scientist notes today that lab-grown meat could ease food shortages, and other advantages are supposedly that in vitro cultured meat could be healthier for people and for the environment.

Sound far-fetched? In April, PETA started a $1 million competition for the first person to produce lab-grown chicken, and also in April scientists held the First International In Vitro Meat Symposium. You might also want to read this article in Christian Science Monitor (though I'm a bit suspicious, the author is Gregory Lamb.)