Stir Fly: Nutrient Bug 1.0

Stir Fly
Nutrient Bug 1.0

Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr & Robert Foster

Contestable domestic appliance that could be used in the kitchen of every home: a prototype of a domestic bioreactor designed to culture and farm in vitro insect meat. A bioreactor is a device that supports a biologically active environment — in this case, a vessel to grow cells taken from a fly. Unlike warm blooded animal cells and tissues that need to be kept at 37 degrees Celsius, insect cells grow at room temperature which makes the process effective and readily available to the domestic environment.

However, note the bag above, it holds nutrient fluid, consisting of all the food the cells need to grow. It includes animal derived substances such as fetal calf serum. The nutrient fluid is fed into the sterilised device that contains the fly cells; a magnetic stirrer agitates the fluid so that the cells can maximise their nutrient uptake. This work takes the idea of in vitro meat and animal protein production, and translates it into an absurd conclusion — and in the process unveils the nutritional requirements of the cells.

This work was exhibited as part of Field Test at the Science Gallery Dublin.


Can You Grow Your Own Meat? Observer. 6 Jun 2016

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