Photo: Flickr/Ernestro Andrade
A Dutch professor at Maastricht University has been given a grant of €300,000 ($417,000) to “grow” a hamburger in a lab, reports the BBC. Mark Post is attempting to grow synthetic meat in a lab using muscle stem cells. Post has said that his goal is to turn meat production from a farming process to a factory process.
According to Gizmodo, he can only currently grow meat a few millimeters thick due to having no way of getting nutrients to the muscle cells. However, he is hoping to introduce a new process to allow his portion sizes to increase.
In order to grow his meat, Post attaches the muscle cells to velcro, which causes them to contract and exercise themselves. He is planning on producing several thin strips of meat and then having a celebrity chef cook him a hamburger to demonstrate his process.
Though Post’s process may win him mild plaudits with animal activists, it should be noted that his meat is not entirely animal free. If Post’s process did become commercially viable then animals would still need to be farmed in order to provide donor cells to manufacture the meat.
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