The super-secret bankroller of the world's first lab-grown stem cell burger, which'll be cooked and taste tested in London this afternoon,has been revealed as none-other than Google's billionaire co-founder, Sergey Brin. It seems self-driving cars, space mining, and Google Glass just aren't enough future for him.
Brin ploughed £215,000 into the project, which aims to produce meat totally without animal husbandry, all from cow stem cells grown entirely in vitro in a lab. The Google man said he made the investment on the grounds of animal welfare, which is as good a reason as any, because it's very hard to argue with. Meat produced without having to hurt animals sounds great to me, and I'm not even a vegetarian.
The burger was grown from a small cluster of stem cells into some 20,000-odd muscle fibres, taking three months of painstaking lab work. The big test is whether it tastes OK, which food critics and food researchers will be able to tell this afternoon. Fingers crossed it's juicy and tasty, then maybe the technology will get propelled into the mainstream rather than being stuck as a proof of concept. Mind you, with Sergey Brin behind it, I can see that happening sooner rather than later. Google X Lab burger anyone? [The Guardian]
Image credit: Burger from Shutterstock