Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hamburg from the Petri dish: fried first laboratory Burger - "Almost like meat" - ABC Online

A researcher at the University of Maastricht has eaten a hamburger for the first time, for no animal had to die. He bred him from a bovine stem cells in the laboratory. The zweifelhalfte Gaumenschmaus costs 250 000 euros – and was met with disbelief

A steak from the Petri dish -. Pull herself at the thought of the stomach walls of some meat eaters together. For others, however, it is the solution of many problems. Almost 700 million animals died alone in 2012 in Germany at the slaughterhouse – usually after a miserable life in factory farms. The human appetite for meat is gigantic. The Germans, for example, eat in an average of 60 kilos of meat per capita. Experts believe that the global demand of today is set to double in the future.

High consumption is not only reflected negatively on the situation of the animals down, but also on the environment. Cattle, pigs and chickens require vast amounts of water and vast arable land for food. In addition, they produce enormous amounts greenhouse gases. Currently cause animal foods in Germany alone, about 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions a meat substitute from the laboratory according to experts, would consume only about half of the energy needed by the conventional animal product, protect the environment and protect animals. If this were possible, it would completely revolutionize the food industry.

Mark Post, professor of physiology at the University of Utrecht, will have first achieved this ambitious goal now: today in London he presented a hamburger from “real” meat, no animal had to die for and also protects the environment. At a steak or a hamburger from the lab researchers have been working for years. The Netherlands is a pioneer in this field. However, research on artificial meat costs a lot of time and money. Post was able to realize his project only through the help of an anonymous sponsor. To 250 000 euros, he invested in the artificial burger.

Actually embryonic stem cells would be best suited to it to grow tissue. Because they divide indefinitely. The researchers have so far not been able to extract embryonic stem cells from pigs or cattle. Therefore Mark Post resorted to muscle stem cells, which he won from the tissue of a cow. These are divided several times and usually replace dead cells of the animal.

So, the cells proliferated, PO put them in a nutrient solution from the blood serum of bovine fetuses. What are the components of the expensive liquid for culturing the cells exactly play a role, but the researchers do not yet know. “We have not figured out which of the 10 000 proteins in the serum are really important,” is by mail to the “mirror”.

After some time, developed in the Petri dish with the serum, a thin layer of tissue. To win a piece of meat, Post had superimpose and press together several such layers of tissue. The result, which he presented in London today, actually looks like a squashed meatball. The organizers have placed them on a plate next to salad and burgers. While Mark Post, cutting off a piece of it, he holds talk with the host of the event. They describe how the meat feels in the mouth and how it tastes. Their conclusion: It is firmer than they had anticipated, and you can bite well

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