Lab Debuts $330K 'Frankenburger'
First synthetic burger almost ready to serve
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2013 9:06 AM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2013 7:50 AM CDT
Researchers say producing the world's meat in labs would use 99% less land than livestock.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – After years of research into lab-grown meat, it's finally patty time. A burger made of synthetic beef will be cooked and served before an audience at one of London's finest restaurants next week, reports the Independent. The "Frankenburger"—which cost $330,000 to develop—is made up of thousands of strips of artificial muscle and fat grown from stem cells in a process scientists say could transform the meat industry, drastically reducing its impact on the planet.

"Right now, we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You are going to need alternatives," says Dutch scientist Mark Post. "If we don't do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive." Researchers believe that if this "proof of principle" serving is a success, in-vitro beef could be on supermarket shelves within a decade. So who gets to try the most expensive burger ever made? An anonymous donor has bankrolled most of Post's research and sources say the donor may also be the diner.