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World's first 'test-tube' burger to be on menu in London

July 29, 2013 at 5:05 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, July 29 (UPI) -- A hamburger worth $380,000 -- or about $75,000 per ounce -- made with meat grown in a laboratory will be cooked and eaten in London next month, scientists say.

The 5-ounce burger will include a patty of made of synthetic meat, grown in a laboratory from the stem cells of a slaughtered cow, the scientist behind the faux burger said.

The costly patty, set for a public "proof of principle" consumption, will be made of about 3,000 strips of artificial beef, each the size of a rice grain, grown from bovine stem cells cultured in the laboratory, the Belfast Telegraph reported Monday.

It is the result of years of research by Mark Post, a medical physiologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Synthetic meat could help to save the world from the growing consumer demand for beef, lamb, pork and chicken, which could see the conversion of much of the world's remaining forests to barren, manicured pastures by the end of this century, Post said.

Stem cells taken from just one animal could, in theory, be used to make a million times more meat than could be butchered from a single beef carcass.

Post's research into synthetic meat, which ran up the $380,000 tab, has been funded by a wealthy anonymous backer who may reveal his identity publicly by volunteering to be the first to taste the test-tube burger, a source told the Telegraph.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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