Researcher seeks burger without killing cow

Paying $330,000 for a hamburger might seem like a lot, but that’s what it cost for scientists in The Netherlands to prove it’s possible to make a meat-like patty from a cluster of muscle cells.

At the University of Maastricht, Mark Post and his team started with a muscle biopsy from a cow and are now culturing clumps of muscle-tissue cells in Petri dishes.

“We have committed ourselves to make of couple thousand of these small tissues and then assemble them into a hamburger,” Post says.

The Dutch are among the most advanced of several teams around the world trying to produce meat without killing animals. Post wants to demonstrate that the world’s rising appetite for meat can be satisfied in a more efficient and environmentally benign way.

“It’s a combination of two things, care for environment and food production for the world,” he says. “And second is just a generic interest in life-transforming technologies.”

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