Researchers have expressed concerns on whether society can develop an acceptance of synthetic blood that is manufactured from embryonic stem cells. They have also questioned if people will develop an appetite for synthetic meat produced by related technology.
For this reason it is vital the public has every opportunity to get involved with the latest developments in stem cell research, said researchers from the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Genomics Network.
Clips from the hugely popular 'True Blood' TV show as well as the Twilight book and film series will provide a starting point for debate on recent biotechnology developments, including stem cell research, at a public event organised as part of the ESRC's Festival of Social Science 2011.
The audience will be able to discuss a range of issues from Twilight's 'vegetarian vampires' to the possibilities of 'in vitro' meat.
"The fact that synthetic blood features so prominently in the True Blood series is a great opportunity to get a new - particularly younger audience - thinking about these issues," emphasised Dr Christine Knight.
"The biotechnology developments that enable production of blood and meat in the laboratory are likely to affect all of us in the coming years," he added.
However, research undertaken by the Genomics Network indicates that gathering public reactions to potential stem cell products will be key to the understanding some of the barriers encountered when introducing these products into a consumer market.