In Brief

Hamburger, Hamburger, Lab-Burger?

lab-grown meat
Mark Post's lab has grown strips of muscle tissue from cow stem cells. (Image credit: Mark Post/AAAS)

The world's first lab-grown hamburger will be served Monday (Aug. 5) in London in front of an invitation-only crowd, according to NBC News. No word on a special sauce, lettuce or a sesame bun. The "meat" was grown from cow stem cells in a laboratory vat, then combined with lab-grown fat to create the proper juicy bite of a hamburger.

Researcher Mark Post of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands said the project cost $320,000, funded by an anonymous donor, NBC News reported. (Maybe he or she will be the as-yet-identified diner?) Post has spent nearly 10 years perfecting the muscle-growing process, including feeding sugars, minerals and amino acids to the tissue, and exercising the one-inch muscle strands between two anchor points.

Post aims to develop a sustainable food source that will help reduce the environmental impacts of beef production, Business Insider reported. Post has been scheduled to dish up the lab-grown meals before, but had them canceled, as in October 2012, when the hamburger was to be cooked by celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal.

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+.

Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.