Most of us would equate stem cells with cloning and bone marrow transplantation. But what about hamburgers? Flummoxed? Well, you should be – as one scientist, who goes by the name of Dr. Mark Post, has created a perfectly edible hamburger from bovine stem cells.
Now, before you start clapping your greedy hands, the burger does come with a price, which comes around a whopping €250,000 (roughly $325,000). Yes; we repeat again – a single hamburger will set you back by 325 grands! However, the research is not exactly some publicity gimmick (as many of us might be thinking). In fact, one of the aims of this scientific endeavor was to showcase the possibility of ‘in-vitro meat’ becoming a credible source of food in our resource-scarce future.
The working scope of the project entailed the collection of these stem cells from the neck of a cow. As any amateur scientist would tell you, stem cells do have the remarkable capacity to ‘evolve’ into other body cells, which also includes the much needed muscle cells for the beef. The scientists were able to gather billions of such muscle cells to create 20,000 strips of cultured muscle tissue, which in turn equated to just a quarter of a pound.
The best part about the stem cell beef is that it contains no fat. Of course, the technology is still in its nascent stage, and thus the cost factor is incredibly high. But more importantly, the challenge lies with convincing people to try out such in-vitro meat as a viable alternative to regular meat.