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  (Source: Maastricht University)
World's first artificially grown burger will be eaten this week; method could one day cut methane emissions

Let's face it -- a large portion of Americans enjoy the taste of a juicy hamburger.  Animal rights activists, on the other hand, are quick to complain about a host of allegations against the commercial meat industry, which keeps animals in pen-confined conditions and practices what some say is questionable slaughtering practices.

I. Where's the Beef?  In the Test Tube!

But even overlooking the ethics and "animal rights" issues, there's fundamental efficiency questions to be asked before demanding, "Where's the beef?"

Beef farming has been criticized for increasing methane emissions (cows are ruminants, fermenting food during digestion producing carbon gases as a waste byproduct).  Five percent of carbon dioxide emissions and forty percent of methane emissions come from cattle farming.  Beef farming also requires a lot of land – currently, 30 percent of useable land mass is employed as pasture for livestock versus only 4 percent that's used to directly grow food for humans.  

Some of these facts and figures are slickly summed up by this infographic from NPR's food blog "theSALT":
burgers

By 2060, the world population is expected to soar to 9.5 billion and meat consumption is expected to rise 73 percent according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations leading to dilemma as humans compete against their own pastureland for space.  That predicted crisis has researchers asking: what if you could grow meat in a lab, requiring little land, little water, minimal feed, and a greatly reduced carbon footprint?  

It's an idea that's long fascinated science fiction authors, and is at last becoming reality.  A project by researchers at the Maastricht Univ., the Netherland's biggest international college, is among the first to produce edible quantities of test-tube meat.  

Test tube meat
A researcher at Maastricht Univ. cultures the lab beef. [Image Source: CNN]

Led by famed physiologist Dr. Mark Post, the project is funded by a €250,000 ($331,300 USD) grant from Russian-American entrepeneur Sergey Brin who co-founded internet software giant Google Inc. (GOOG).


The meat project is funded by Google's Sergey Brin. [Image Source: TED Blog]

II. The World's First Test Tube Burger Gets Cooked

The project has produced an impressive visual result -- the world's first synthetic hamburger.  

Sergey Brin describes, "When you see how these cows are treated, it's certainly something I'm not comfortable with.  [While the synthetic alternative] is really just proof of concept right now, we're trying to create the first cultured beef hamburger.  From there I'm optimistic that we can really scale by leaps and bounds."

The completed "burger" consists of 20,000 muscle fibers cultured from stem cells and painstakingly extracted from culture wells and pressed together with cultured fat cells/layers to form a growing tissue.  On a cellular level the synthetic burger isn’t differentiable from the real thing; on a tissue level it's also designed to be highly similar to cow meat, if a bit leaner.

Hamburger culture

The burger was cooked up along with a store-bought hamburger and evaluated by a panel of tasters in London, Monday afternoon.  The panel included Chicago-based author of Taste of TomorrowJosh Schonwald, and an Austrian food trends researcher, Hanni Rützler of the Future Food Studio.

The chef on hand was British celebrity chef Richard Mcgeown, Head Chef of Couch's Great House Restaurant in Polperro, Cornwall.  Noting the synthetic burger's slightly paler appearance (due to lack of vasculature), he cooked it up with sunflower oil and a bit of butter.  The five-ounce (142g) burger was served on a toasted bun with sliced tomato, then chopped up and distributed to the testers.

III. It Taste Like Beef, if a Bit Less Juicy

The testers seemed to have mixed sentiments on the burger -- partially due to the cooking style.  Ms. Rützler took the chef to task for his cooking style, commenting, "It misses salt and pepper."

As for the meat itself, she says, "There is quite some intense flavor.  The look was quite similar to meat. It has quite a bite.  The surface of the meat was crunchy — surprisingly. The taste itself was as juicy as meat can be, but different. It tastes like meat, not a meat substitute like soya or whatever."

Mr. Schonwald chimes in, "There is a leanness to it.  The absence of fat is what makes it taste different.  I would say it is somewhere on the spectrum between a Boca Burger [soy burger brand] and McDonald's.  The absence of fat makes a big difference. It has the texture, which I was not expecting. It was like an animal-protein cake."

The somewhat unsatisfying taste fat-wise stems from the fact that researchers are still struggling to produce tissues that mix grown muscle and fat layers, as naturally occurring cow tissues do.  The lack of salt and pepper?  That's likely the chef's fault.

Lab meat tasting Lab Meat
Critics bite into the lab meat [Image Source: Oligvy PR]

But the fact that the burger was close to the real thing in texture and taste is a major achievement for Dr. Post's team.  And the researcher says it helps light the way for a path to commercial sales of synthetic meat in 10 to 20 years.  By then, he says, the cells will still take as long to grow, but they'll be cultured by robots millions at a time producing millions of pounds of test-tube meat.

Dr. Post
Dr. Post hopes to reach commercial production in 10 to 20 years. [Image Source: PA]

Dr. Post warns:

I think most people don't realize that the current meat production is at its maximum. We need to come up with an alternative...  Cows are very inefficient, they require 100g of vegetable protein to produce only 15g of edible animal protein.  So we need to feed the cows a lot so that we can feed ourselves. We lose a lot of food that way. [With cultured meat] we can make it more efficient because we have all the variables under control. We don't need to kill the cow and it doesn't [produce] any methane.

One key advantage of test-tube meat is that it lacks hormones -- including testosterone and estrogen that are found in low levels in mammal meat and are taken up during lipid absorption in the small intestine.  These hormones clearly aren't overly dangerous, but they may have a minor adverse affect as they are identical or highly similar to those found in the human body, potential suppressing natural production.

Another perk is that energy from the feed slurry isn't wasted to produce generally undesired content like organs (lungs, brain, heart, etc.) and bones.  The approach also eliminates risk of prion designs (e.g. mad cow diseases) and reduces the risks of meat-borne pathogens via a sterile growing environment.

IV. Price Remains Sky High

The test-tube meat is currently very expensive -- the burger cost just slightly more than Mr. Brin's over $300K donation, a price of about $70,000 USD/oz.  By contrast Japan's coveted Kobe (Wagyu) beef goes for about $9.40 USD/oz. [source].  In time, though, Dr. Post believes the test-tube meat will be cost-competitive with the real thing.



The test-tube route may not be the only approach on the table.  Some reports have indicated that scientists in Japan have supposedly been working on "poop burgers" and "fecal steaks" -- a slightly different approach, using proteins from bacteria to make synthetic meat.  However, these stories have since been traced back to unverifiable press releases in the 1990s that may be part of an elaborate viral hoax.

The controversial head of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, Ph.D, has proposed that people refrain from eating meat at least one day a week to combat climate change.  But with the help of lab meat both the emissions and space issues could be a thing of the past.

Test-tube meat is not the only wild experimental investment/project for Mr. Brin.  The researcher, who devised much of Google's core data mining and search "PageRank" algorithm, is currently working on maturing the Glass Explorer wearable Android device at Google.  He's also funding Space Adventures, a startup looking to offer moon trips for $100M USD, and explore a joint venture with wealthy movie director James Cameron to finance journeys to asteroids, which could open the door to space mining operations.

Sources: Maastricht Univ., CNN, NBC News



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Weird, but great
By techxx on 8/5/2013 4:20:50 PM , Rating: 5
It is a little weird, but I definitely like where this is going. What I'd really love to see is applying these same methods for snow crab, shrimp, lobster, etc. Imagine producing pounds of crab meat without having to catch them or crack shells!




RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By Jeffk464 on 8/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By Mint on 8/5/2013 9:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
Most environmentalists don't care much about methane. It only stays in the atmosphere for 8 years before being broken down.

The real danger of the meat industry is their indiscriminate use of antibiotics and how that helps antibiotic resistant bacteria proliferate.

But you're wrong about cost. Synthetic meat will one day be cheaper than animal meat, and that can only be a good thing.


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By ritualm on 8/5/2013 10:05:56 PM , Rating: 3
Most of the meat sold in supermarkets these days come from livestock grow-ops. Forget natural cycles, that takes way too long before the animal is big enough to be turned into meat. Grow-ops inject LOTS of antibiotics, hormones and chemicals into the livestock's feed supplies, so they will grow lots of muscle tissue in a hurry, and thus ripe for slaughter.

Which means... the meat you love eating now is really made of trash. Lab-grown "meat" is better than trash, not worse.


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By techxx on 8/5/2013 10:33:40 PM , Rating: 3
Lab grown meat WILL not only eventually be economically feasible, but one day be the only meat available to the mainstream, and for GOOD reason. It will be much healthier, cheaper, consistent, and safer to eat. As time goes on, I would also imagine it will taste better than regular meat as well.


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By Mint on 8/6/2013 6:59:02 AM , Rating: 2
How myopic do you have to be to speak in such absolute terms?

We use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. We use a plethora of artificial flavors in various foods products. We already have artificial crab meat made from cheaper fish.

It's going to happen. It's a gargantuan industry, and nature isn't particularly efficient at creating meat, so I'm very sure that mankind will find a better way. It wouldn't surprise me if you're old enough to die in a decade, but I'm 100% sure that I'll see it happen in my lifetime.


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By Flunk on 8/6/2013 9:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, critical thinking would allow you to see that since they have proven that lab-grown meat is possible that relating it to living in space and flying cars is totally silly.

Lab-grown meat is definitely a possiblity and if they can get the costs down (and there is little reason to think they can't) it's fully possible that in 10-20 years it could be less expensive than farm-raised animal meat. As for taste I imagine they will eventually get it quite similar and people will get used to it.

For a lot of people, meat that has the potential of costing 1/10 the price has a lot of appeal and it's certainly not the pipe dream you think it is. Also, nothing in here says that they're going to take the choice of eating actual meat away from you so I don't see why you're so irrationally upset about this.


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2013 12:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, critical thinking would allow you to see that since they have proven that lab-grown meat is possible that relating it to living in space and flying cars is totally silly.


Living in space and flying cars are, technically, possible too. There's just very good reasons and financial barriers preventing it from becoming a reality.

The same with this artificial meat. You people haven't demonstrated to me that it's scalable and economically viable. Your posts are all full of "could", and "possibly", and "one day". These aren't arguments, they are hopes and dreams!

quote:
For a lot of people, meat that has the potential of costing 1/10 the price has a lot of appeal and it's certainly not the pipe dream you think it is.


This is a perfect example! I want to know right now, what you're basing this 1/10'th number on. Did you just make it up? It seems like you did!

quote:
As for taste I imagine they will eventually get it quite similar and people will get used to it.


Sure by injecting fat substitutes, preservatives, and flavor agents into it. At which point, are you really any better off?


RE: Weird, but great
By corduroygt on 8/7/2013 7:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
Smart people like Sergey Brin, Peter Thiel, and Bill Gates are all funding research on artificial meat, so they think it will become a viable option eventually. And their opinions are much move valid than yours. I don't see why you're so closed minded and think we can't improve technology any more. Meat production is quite energy intensive, and there's lots of room to improve there by using artificial methods.

In any case, me or most people won't have a problem with artificial meat if it tastes the same as the real thing and costs the same or cheaper. Don't see why you'd think this would be a bad thing.


RE: Weird, but great
By Brockway on 8/6/2013 9:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
This process uses stem cells, right? Where the heck are we going to get cow stem cells? Aborted cows I guess? We can't clone stem cells, can we? If we could do that, I think steak would be the least important application for that technology.

I personally don't have a problem with eating lab grown meat. I think I've read almost all of Asimov's books and would love to walk through one of those Mycogen yeast vat plants. I do hope this kind of think becomes one day feasible.


RE: Weird, but great
By SlyNine on 8/7/2013 8:14:43 AM , Rating: 2
Besides, these are adult stem cells, harvested from perfectly healthy adults whom I killed for their stem cells.


RE: Weird, but great
By jRaskell on 8/6/2013 9:20:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We use artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. We use a plethora of artificial flavors in various foods products.


That's not exactly a good supporting argument. I haven't found a single artificial sweetener that, quite frankly, doesn't taste like crap. Even high fructose corn syrup is a poor substitute for real sugar, and that's not even artificial.


RE: Weird, but great
By FITCamaro on 8/5/2013 11:31:45 PM , Rating: 3
The hormones you're speaking of have been banned in animals in the US since the 90s.


RE: Weird, but great
By NellyFromMA on 8/6/2013 8:51:51 AM , Rating: 2
Is this a facts based assessment? How do you know "grown" synthetic meat is better than any meat sold in grocery stores today?


RE: Weird, but great
By inperfectdarkness on 8/6/2013 7:33:52 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sure it tastes better than the recycled-poop burgers that have been developed recently...


RE: Weird, but great
By Paj on 8/6/2013 8:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Dude we don't even have synthetic meat yet


Thats the very topic of this article. It's the first time it's been created.

Its the first generation, so of course its ridiculously expensive. The human genome project cost roughly 3 billion.
Now, roughly a decade later, you can sequence a genome for under 10K.

The Manhattan project cost 24 billion (adjusted for inflation) and employed over 100,000 people to produce minute quantities of fissionable material. Now its done all over the world to produce nuclear fuel at a miniscule fraction of that.

The same trend can be seen with the first prototype computers and cars, vesus the prices we pay for these items today. Costs will come down dramatically - it's pretty much guaranteed.


RE: Weird, but great
By ipay on 8/6/2013 11:31:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Dude we don't even have synthetic meat yet, and you're already predicting...

...It's disgusting! Nobody wants it.


Do you see your lack of consistency here?


RE: Weird, but great
By ritualm on 8/5/2013 8:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
Food production goes up arithmetically.
Human population growth rate is exponential.

There simply is not enough arable land for pastures to feed cattle and livestock with. Something has to give. Let the super-rich have their Wagyu's, the rest of us will happily gobble down lab-grown stuff - some "meat" is better than no meat at all, no matter what the replacement is.

Remember, even in the seedy underworld of Demolition Man, you gotta have meat because people want to eat burgers. If it doesn't make you sick, bleed, or die, it's good enough; only purists care that it's made with dead rats!


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By Skywalker123 on 8/5/2013 9:10:56 PM , Rating: 3
Too bad we can't send all the idiots like you to Australia


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: 0
RE: Weird, but great
By StevoLincolnite on 8/5/2013 9:52:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Too bad we can't send all the idiots like you to Australia


Hey hey hey! Do us Australians get any say in this!?


RE: Weird, but great
By ritualm on 8/5/2013 9:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The landmass of Earth is barely being utilized. We could fit the entire population of the planet in Australia if we built vertically. So where are you getting that there's not enough arable land? Post links please!

How much of Earth's total landmass is hospitable? Serious question.

You're an idiot.


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/13, Rating: -1
RE: Weird, but great
By Paj on 8/6/2013 8:46:46 AM , Rating: 3
Youve completely ignored farming. Sure, we could all live on the head of a pin if we built massive, kilometre high towers. But we cant go on clearing acres of forest so cows can have grass to eat. It's not that had to grasp, surely?


RE: Weird, but great
By Ammohunt on 8/5/2013 9:00:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There simply is not enough arable land for pastures to feed cattle and livestock with.


The above is a lie the vegetarians like to tell in order to spread FUD among the ignorant. Obviously you have never been to a plains state... Cattle are grown feeding on native grasses on non-arable land then brought to feed lots to fatten them up on insulage(chopped and fermented corn). The land that the corn is grown on is only small part of the arable land and consists of a tiny portion of beef cattles overall feed. Most farmers are paid by the government not to farm most of the arable land in this country and yet we still manage to feed the most of the world.


RE: Weird, but great
By Schrag4 on 8/6/2013 11:49:30 AM , Rating: 2
I was going to post the same thing. Anyone who believes there's not enough arable land has never been out of the city. Drive through any of the Mid-West states and your eyes will be opened.


RE: Weird, but great
By Paj on 8/6/2013 8:33:05 AM , Rating: 4
Farming livestock is incredibly destructive. Using 30% of land as pasture has severe implications for biodiversity, ecology and the environment as a whole, not to mention the energy and food required to produce the final product.

And I completely disagree with your argument. If they scale this up, 'farmed' meat is likely to become a luxury item, in the same way that free range chicken is more expensive than battery farmed.


RE: Weird, but great
By NellyFromMA on 8/6/2013 8:55:18 AM , Rating: 2
This is gross. And this whole conversation is CRAY CRAY I SAY


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/13, Rating: 0
RE: Weird, but great
By Paj on 8/7/2013 8:31:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
We're not clear cutting forests for farm land


How are you supposed to farm then? You cant farm crops or livestock in a forest. You need clear land, which means removing the forest. More farmland = less forests.

Farming livestock currently occupies 30% of all land on the planet, and is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions (For comparison, all global transport produces 13% of the total).

Its not part of the 'Liberal ideology', its simple facts.

http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448/i...


RE: Weird, but great
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2013 2:59:33 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Farming livestock currently occupies 30% of all land on the planet


????

That is such an outrageous lie that I'm dumbstruck you put it forth as some kind of fact.

Human's only occupy about 1% of the land on Earth. How in the hell are we using 30% for livestock farming? Do you have any idea how idiotic that statement is?

Now if you mean out of the 1% we inhabit, 30% is used for farming, that's different. But can we say 'big deal'?


RE: Weird, but great
By Paj on 8/8/2013 7:26:47 AM , Rating: 2
I may have made an error when I said 30% was used for livestock exclusively. As it turns out, farming of any sort uses up over 30% of all available land. So my original figure was an underestimation. Check the facts:

Article
http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2005/12/...

Map of land use
http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/agriculture...

You sound incredulous, and it a massively high number, but there you go - fact.


RE: Weird, but great
By TacticalTrading on 8/6/2013 5:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
For what it is worth: Using your argument, one could easily state that commercial scale farming of anything is incredibly destructive.

For instance, Farming Corn for Ethanol => Biodiversity, ecology, environment, Food and energy to product the final product....
One of the worst things to farm: Palm Oil

I'm just sayin'


RE: Weird, but great
By Jeffk464 on 8/5/2013 7:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
commercial meat industry, which keeps animals in pen-confined conditions


What, I've never seen cattle held in pens except for veil. Feed lots yeah, but not pens. Plus I think the feed lots are primarily to fatten them up right before they go to market, right?


RE: Weird, but great
By NellyFromMA on 8/6/2013 8:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a little weird IMO. It's absolutely disgusting.


RE: Weird, but great
By techxx on 8/6/2013 11:23:33 AM , Rating: 2
More disgusting than eating a dead ground up animal? It is the future of meat produce whether you like it or not. You mine as well embrace it because it really is quite a great thing!


RE: Weird, but great
By Phoenix7 on 8/7/2013 1:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
For king crab, just use scissors, or pull so you put pressure on the joints, but yea blue crabs are great but a hassle


This is retarded
By FITCamaro on 8/5/2013 11:29:50 PM , Rating: 1
I'll stick with cows. And as far as all the methane, what do these hippies think the world would be like if people weren't around and cattle and other animals like buffalo and horses were just out there in the wild? There'd be a heck of a lot more of them producing a lot more methane.

This is nothing but green hippie crap trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.




RE: This is retarded
By u74s1r on 8/6/2013 2:30:21 AM , Rating: 1
If the people think that jacking up cows with hormones developed in a "lab" is bad, has anyone considered the ramifications of jacking up people with "lab meat" and what that might do to us? Jacking up people on GMO crops is bad enough and ought to be banned but dicking around with the DNA of consumable animals spells trouble for all of humanity. These sci-fi junkies (useful idiots as described by the Marxists) cannot find their asses with both hands aided by full length mirrors and spot lights.

I'll stick with organic farm animals/crops...they're delicious.


RE: This is retarded
By NellyFromMA on 8/6/2013 8:57:04 AM , Rating: 2
Probably the same people who are pro synthetic meat (that makes me laugh just writing it) are probably people who could care less about their health altogether.


RE: This is retarded
By Jeffk464 on 8/6/2013 9:07:08 AM , Rating: 2
If people are serious about their health they would really limit the amount of read meat they eat.


RE: This is retarded
By Jeffk464 on 8/6/2013 9:08:07 AM , Rating: 2
ah, red meat


RE: This is retarded
By LRonaldHubbs on 8/6/2013 11:37:18 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
could care less

Your failure at grammar resulted in your statement being true.
Gotta love irony.


By SublimeSimplicity on 8/5/2013 4:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
We have a small backyard garden and it's always neat to eat fruits and veggies we've grown back there.

I wonder if one day, I'll have a small lab in my basement where I grow our ground beef.




By nomagic on 8/5/2013 9:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly what I had in mind. It would be really nice to grow everything that we eat.


By SublimeSimplicity on 8/6/2013 9:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
How bizarre to one day shop on amazon for stem cells and a machine that can synthesis different fat grains. Want Bison bacon? Ostrich veal? Order the stem sells, feed them in the machine and sometime later its read to cook.

The Jetson's food machine might not be so far fetched.


Human Meat...?
By tjvanpat on 8/5/2013 4:28:05 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
One key advantage of test-tube meat is that it lacks hormones -- including testosterone and estrogen that are found in low levels in human meat and are taken up during lipid absorption in the small intestine.


I'm going to assume that's a typo...




RE: Human Meat...?
By augiem on 8/5/2013 4:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
I LOL'd at that too.


RE: Human Meat...?
By Devilboy1313 on 8/5/2013 6:16:10 PM , Rating: 1
Soylent Green is coming true.


RE: Human Meat...?
By Jeffk464 on 8/5/2013 7:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
"its a cook book"


Truffles
By chris2618 on 8/5/2013 4:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
One of the reason truffles are so expensive is due a series of factors in the early 20th century and due to this the price went up. Truffles are now seen as a luxury item.

I cant help but thinking this is what will happen with meat. The lab grown quality will be as good as or better than animal meat. Then when animal meat becomes a rarity the lab grown quality will decrease and animal meat will become a luxury for the rich.




RE: Truffles
By Ammohunt on 8/5/2013 9:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
Utter nonsense! people are so far detached from subsistence living. It will always be cheaper to raise your own meat ever wonder why there are so many damn goat in the middle east? Hogs in every third world village? come on...


taste
By mike8675309 on 8/5/2013 5:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
Shocked that they didn't notice the taste of despair.
http://youtu.be/ezEMnzmDYZU




Fat People
By hiscross on 8/6/2013 4:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
So the earth is going to get over crowded with people. I would say some of this is true since there are so many fat people wobbling around. At some point they will be so fat, they won’t be able to have intercourse. Problem solved.




By TacticalTrading on 8/6/2013 6:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
When a bull & a Cow... you know... and the embryo starts dividing on its own... Isn't that sort of like stem cell mitosis, but with greater purpose?

So how many Stem Cell parts were used to make the burger?
How long did they have to grow?
How does it cost to feed these growing "parts" & what do you feed them?

The only advantage I can see is maybe faster growth? But, as someone already pointed out, "Grow ups" grow up quickly.
You are going to need a lot of test tubes to equal the beef of a hundred head of cattle.

And, test tube meet doesn't have any of the by-products. Today, about 99.5% of every Cow is used, and the last 0.5% is more about spillage than waste. For this reason alone, raising cattle will always be a great business.

As for the "We won't be able to produce that much food" crowd, which I am sure contains some sharp dudes; they will all end up looking just as idiotic as the last "We can't grow that much food, we need population control crowd" that gained the world's attention in the 1960's.

EVERYONE that every believed and or agreed with any of those ideas, regardless of circumstances, is IMHO, an idiot.

The news is cool; maybe it will be great for space travel...

As for commercial viability... My guess is that the only way that happens is to artificially raise the price of the long standing current alternatives (read: raising cattle.) And, we all know the best way to do that is with the help of well paid politicians and governments, just like we are currently witnessing in the energy markets with Ethanol, Wind, and Solar. Via legislation (read: taxes & the EPA) We are all forced pay more for regular energy to support the absurdly uneconomical processes of "renewable energy"
It would be/will be, easy to do the same thing with Meat with a Methane tax.

Note: Ethanol production mandates already raise the price of corn fed beef.




Things need to change..
By Nyu on 8/6/2013 6:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
growing food
By sulu1977 on 8/6/2013 8:51:45 PM , Rating: 2
30 years ago I grew beans and potatoes in my lab. My lab was my backyard.




The price of a Gurger
By spaced_ on 8/6/2013 10:12:50 AM , Rating: 1
So I'm guessing Sergey put his own money into this project. Otherwise, I'd have expected those food critics would've been eating the world's first 'Gurger' :)

Anyone else rather disappointed about the Chef leaving out salt and pepper? I mean, that's a $330k Gurger right there.




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