Laboratory Hamburger

Laboratory Hamburger

The world’s first in-vito meat hamburger will be ready this fall, according to Mark Post of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. He spoke last Sunday at the AAAS meetings in Vancouver, in a symposium called “The Next Agricultural Revolution: Emerging Production Methods for Meat Alternatives.”

Dr. Post has been growing the patty from cow stem cells and plans to put it to the ultimate scientific test: it will be cooked and eaten. The team hopes famed chef Heston Blumenthal will broil that burger and some other open-minded celebrity will eat it. Don’t look for lab-grown burgers in the drive-thru lane any time soon; it’s costing over $400,000 to make the first one.

Other AAAS speakers included DNA researcher Patrick Brown of Stanford University Medical School, who believes closely meat-like products can be made directly from plant-based materials, and KeShun Liu of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, who seeks to produce an improved meat-analog through improved protein texturization technology. The Dutch lab-meat effort is backed by an anonymous donor and Stanford’s by Silicon Valley money, but the AAAS symposium was sponsored by the New Harvest organization, which funds meat-substitute research in the UK and USA, both plant-based and animal-cell-cultured.

An intriguing symposium, but the Dutch test tube burger got all the attention:

“First Test-Tube Hamburger Ready This Fall,” Tracy Staedter, Discovery News

“Meat grown in lab may yield first ‘test-tube burger’ by fall,” Doug Stanglin, USA Today blog

“Would you eat a ‘Frankenburger’ made of artificial meat grown in a lab?” Daily Mirror

“Test-Tube Burger Is ‘Petri Dish’ Of The Day,” Sky News

Bonus item #1:

A cultured-meat slide show by Dr. Vladimir Mironov.

Bonus item #2:

A short video animation by Afshin Moeini, Christian Poppius and Kim Brundin.


Short Link:

Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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2 Responses to “Laboratory Hamburger”

  1. Mike Licht Says:


    “Mystery Meat: World’s First Test-Tube Hamburger to Be Served in 2012,” Samantha Grossman, Time Magazine

    “We’ll never swallow the test-tube burger,” Rose Prince, The Telegraph

  2. Test Tube Meat: The New Black? | elephant journal Says:

    […] “real” beef, and escalating into the luxury realm, is about eleven kinds of creepy too. Proponents of in vitro meat are already referring to factory farming as “traditional” farming, and that is a dangerous […]

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