Researchers produce World’s first lab-grown beef burger

Scientists from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands have produced the first lab-grown beef burger of the world which is being seen as a step towards food revolution. The burger was served to the volunteers in London.

What is so special about this Hamburger (World’s first lab-grown beef burger)?

Screenshot_2The world’s first lab-grown beef burger, developed in the lab of Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, weighed 140g with production cost 250000 Euros or 330000 US dollar. The beef used in the burger was developed from the stem cells extracted from a living cow. As claimed by scientists, when mixed with breadcrumbs, egg powder and salt, for improving its taste; as well as coloured with red beetroot juice and saffron; it will taste very much like a usual burger.

How the beef used in the burger (World’s first lab-grown beef burger) was produced?

Screenshot_1The beef used in the burger was developed by using the stem cells taken from a living cow. Stem cells, as we know, are the master cells with a unique capability to grow into multiple types of cells i.e. blood, tissue, muscle, etc. Scientists, then placed these cells in a nutritional medium to grow into small strands of meat. Thousands of these meat strands were used for making the burger.

Why there is so much excitement about the in-vitro development of beef-burger?

Many view this development as a step towards food revolution as this success has the capability to produce meat without actually rearing any animal. The research has the following prospects:

  • It can address the concerns of growing food demands due to increasing population.
  • It can also alleviate the pressure on environment as doing away with animal rearing for meat production would also reduce the carbon footprint and also lessen the pressure on land, water and other resources. (Cattles like pig, cow, chicken and buffaloes are known to produce methane which is also a Green House Gas).
  • A study found that the lab-grown beef makes use of 45% less energy than average global representative figure for farming cattle. Besides, it also produces 96% less greenhouse gas emissions and requires 99% less land as well.
What is PETA’s stance on growing meat in lab?

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, supports attempts to grow meat in labs because they say that will greatly diminish the amount of animal suffering. Donor animals are needed for the muscle cells, but taking those samples doesn’t hurt the animal. One sample can theoretically provide up to 20,000 tons of lab-made meat.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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