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Would you eat human gelatin?
Sure! 25%  25%  [ 30 ]
No-- it's not vegan! 7%  7%  [ 8 ]
No-- it's gross! 49%  49%  [ 59 ]
No-- it's genetically-modified and that is inherently bad. 16%  16%  [ 19 ]
Other which I will explain in comments. 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 121
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 Post subject: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:58 pm 
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Ookay. Vegan or not?

Quote:
Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for producing large quantities of human-derived gelatin that could become a substitute for some of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for gelatin-type desserts, marshmallows, candy and innumerable other products. Their study appears in ACS's Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Jinchun Chen and colleagues explain that animal-based gelatin, which is made most often from the bones and skin of cows and pigs, may carry a risk of infectious diseases such as "Mad Cow" disease and could provoke immune system responses in some people. Animal-based gelatin has other draw-backs, with variability from batch to batch, for instance, creating difficulties for manufacturers. Scientists thus have sought alternatives, including development of a human-recombinant gelatin for potential use in drug capsules and other medical applications.

To get around these difficulties, the scientists developed and demonstrated a method where human gelatin genes are inserted into a strain of yeast, which can produce gelatin with controllable features. The researchers are still testing the human-yeast gelatin to see how well it compares to other gelatins in terms of its viscosity and other attributes. Chen and colleagues suggest that their method could be scaled up to produce large amounts of gelatin for commercial use.



From: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/acs-nmf071311.php

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:19 pm 
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I'm going to go throw up now.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:45 pm 
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Very interesting. I went for yes, I wouldn't be desperate to try it or anything but I certainly wouldn't have a problem with it. It's just a protein expressed by a modified yeast, the DNA inserted into the yeast might be from a human but once it's just a short piece on DNA inserted into another organism it's so far removed it wouldn't feel human to me anymore. From the title of the post I was expecting it to be about boiling up people!


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Fuuuuck all that bullshiitake. I do not trust this kind of stuff at all.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:07 pm 
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I think I just threw up a little.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:10 pm 
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I think it sounds awesome. Really it's a human gelatin gene, but it's yeast produced -- it's not like it's extracted from cadavers or hair salon clippings or something. Yeast is awesome. I would love to eat more foods derived from yeast.

This doesn't differ in concept at all from various microbial produced enzymes that are used in lots of foods.


Last edited by Beanitarian on Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:11 pm 
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I guess it's vegan, but that doesn't mean I wanna eat it. Ick.


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:14 pm 
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The idea of growing "animal" product via yeast is interesting. But why pick a human gene? Does it make the end product safer?


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:29 pm 
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aelle wrote:
The idea of growing "animal" product via yeast is interesting. But why pick a human gene? Does it make the end product safer?


I could see it perhaps being less likely to cause allergic reactions, but it also might be that it was somehow easier to work with that DNA than the DNA for the cow or pig genes.


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:37 pm 
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i just...don't see the point. there are vegan gelatin alternatives, right? so why bother with a human based one?

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:40 pm 
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I'd hit it.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Oh, barf.


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 9:58 pm 
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mixmaster_mo wrote:
Fuuuuck all that bullshiitake. I do not trust this kind of stuff at all.

MiMaMo for Prez. I'm behind you, lady.

It may be totally harmless and innocent but twenty years down the road, when they announce at some special press conference that you all are eating marshmallows made from Michelle Bachman's toe jam, MiMaMo and I will be laughing and hi-fiving while all the early-adopters are clogging the vomitorium.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:12 pm 
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allularpunk wrote:
i just...don't see the point. there are vegan gelatin alternatives, right? so why bother with a human based one?


Because they don't work the same way as vegan gelatin-like-substances? If they were easy to use, we'd have had decent affordable vegan marshmallows years ago. (And while I do love me some Dandies, they're only just on the very edge of affordable.)

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:00 pm 
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See, it's stuff like this that makes me grateful for seaweed...

We needed human jello to put with our breast milk whipped cream, guys.


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 1:29 am 
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I would eat it for sure. It's just a gene and I love marshmallows


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:37 am 
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lavawitch wrote:
I'm going to go throw up now.

So far, I've only read the title and the poll, and I feel the same way.
*takes a deep breath and reads on*


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:36 am 
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Why do I feel like this is someone trying to justify having spent ten years on a PhD?

This sort of depends on the definition of vegan. They are yeast cells, which is a fungus, and as vegan normally means "anything non-animal", that fits the bill. They have experimented with salmon and human growth hormone, and people didn't shout cannibals! so a precedent is set of not counting genetically modified life-forms as a separate species. I think this means that the yeast are still, ultimately, yeast. Few people would argue that they are now human (yeast rights?), so it is still vegan.

There are others who loosely define vegan as "anything I feel like", or "98% is close enough"; including people who humanely and lovingly keep rescue chickens and treat the eggs they lay as by-product of looking after hens but consider themselves vegan for the rest of the time. Included in this is group are those who consider breast-milk vegan. By dictionary definition, it's not (consent is not a factor as to whether something is an animal-product or not, and if someone sells her breast milk, is this not her exploitation of a body for profit? etc) - but we should not live by what the dictionary tells us, rather by what we think is ethical and appropriate.

Either way, I don't think it will be a big hit, so I don't see the point in arguing from either direction. I don't see anything wrong with it, other than it being largely unnecessary (gelatin is a cheap by-product) and hitting lots of people's vomit-buttons and the belief that GM foods will destroy the world (ignoring that they are a short-term cause for hope in places of famine).

My opinion: it's probably vegan, probably icky, most likely to be used in the pharmaceutical industry than anything else and we will never hear of it again.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:34 am 
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Would people object less if it was a plant gene inserted into the yeast or is it a general anti genetic engineering thing?

Around 80/90% of cheese is made with rennet made in a similar way (I know cheese isn't really relevent on this board, and that statistic did come from a very pro GM website so it may well be an over exageration). Cells are taken from the cows, the useful bit of DNA is extracted put into the yeast and then the yeast multiplies and replicates the DNA in the process, then the DNA can be extracted and purified. And I believe, though I'm not completely certain (and I'm finding it hard to find a decent source), that as long as no animal product is used in the fermentation stage when the yeast multiplies then it can be classified as vegetarian and I don't think that's an inherently wrong classification. I think I'd have some concern over the initial source of the cells but once the DNA is extracted from the cell it's just a string of deoxynucleotides, not an animal. And with humans the source of the cells shouldn't be a concern- I'll happily offer mine up now if I can get some good gummy sweets in return! (Once they've isolated the gene they want from my DNA I don't think I'd feel like it was a part of me anymore!).

As for safety, synthetic insulin and human growth hormone (and probably more I can't remember) are both made by bacteria with the appropriate genes inserted and they've been in use for coming on twenty years now. Obviously I'm not sugesting that a decent gelatin substitute is as important as medicines and I'd take more risks of side effects for a medicine I needed versus a fod stuff that would be nice to have, but my point is that I don't think there are any risks associated with GM foods.

ETA:
Gulliver wrote:
This sort of depends on the definition of vegan. They are yeast cells, which is a fungus, and as vegan normally means "anything non-animal", that fits the bill. They have experimented with salmon and human growth hormone, and people didn't shout cannibals! so a precedent is set of not counting genetically modified life-forms as a separate species. I think this means that the yeast are still, ultimately, yeast. Few people would argue that they are now human (yeast rights?), so it is still vegan.


Whilst I spent an hour pondering how best to explain what I was trying to say Gulliver has come along and written a nice succinct paragraph which says what I was trying to say in my cheese paragraph except a million times clearer!


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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:55 am 
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Soylent Marshmellows!

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(I can't believe I was the 1st to say that!)

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:57 am 
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Btw, I voted Sure, No because it's genetically modified, & other. Which basically means I'm undecided.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:31 am 
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I'm riding the Sure! train. I have a wee feeling that some people may have voted/posted before reading the article in it's entirety.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:24 am 
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Aubade wrote:
Soylent Marshmellows!

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(I can't believe I was the 1st to say that!)


See, I was going to go with "Soylent S'mores is peeeeeeeoooooople!"

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:29 am 
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Sure! I don't see why not. It's not like it'd be marshmallows made of dead people.

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 Post subject: Re: human-based gelatin?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Gulliver wrote:
There are others who loosely define vegan as "anything I feel like", or "98% is close enough"; including people who humanely and lovingly keep rescue chickens and treat the eggs they lay as by-product of looking after hens but consider themselves vegan for the rest of the time. Included in this is group are those who consider breast-milk vegan. .


I have never met a vegan who doesn't consider breast milk vegan. It is 100% different than eating eggs from rescue chickens.

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