THE WORLD’S FIRST test tube hamburger could be served later this year after scientists were able to grow elements of beef in a lab.
Dutch researchers have told a major science conference in Canada that they have used stem cells to create strips of muscle tissue and hope eventually to be able to make the first artificially produced hamburger in the autumn.
BBC News reports that Mark Post, from Maastricht University, explained how his team had grown small pieces of muscle which were about 2cm long, 1cm wide, about 1mm thick and resembling calamari in appearance.
At a cost of €240,000 the scientists will mix these strips of muscle with blood and artificially grown fat and produce a hamburger by around October, they say.
They believe that as product costs come down it will eventually reduce the environmental footprint of meat by as much as 60 per cent as meat is mass produced artificially. It is even reported by the BBC that Post hopes that celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal could cook the burger.
The findings were shared at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) which held its annual meeting in Vancouver yesterday.
“Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells form there”, Post said according to French Tribune.
According to the Telegraph, mass-producing beef, pork, chicken and lamb in the lab could satisfy growing global demand for meat which is expected to double within the next 40 years.
The process of producing hamburgers artificially could be done by extracting stem cells from animals without killing them although Post said that the most efficient way of taking the process forward would still involve animals being slaughtered.
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