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Scientists cook, eat beef made from cattle stem cells grown in lab

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For a $330,000 burger, taste testers thought the flavor fell a little flat. 

The hefty price tag, however, wasn't for some fancy, rare cut of meat. In fact, this meat had never so much as mooed in a previous life: It was beef grown in a laboratory. 

Dutch scientists Monday unveiled their ambitious research project, years in the making, with a public taste test of their cultured beef in London. 

Volunteer tasters sampled hamburger made from the lab-grown beef made from stem cells. Scientists hope it can one day alleviate a food crisis as the world's population swells and help combat climate change. 

Quiz: How well do you know fast food?

To make the meat, scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands used muscle stem cells from two organic cows and combined them with a nutrient solution. The muscle cells then grew into strands of meat. It takes 20,000 strands to make a 5-ounce burger. 

Taste testers said the meat lacked the fat of a conventional burger, making the taste a little underwhelming, the Associated Press reported

But with a bit more tinkering, Mark Post, who led the project, said that could be resolved. 

In a YouTube video of the event, the taste testers said the meat had the consistency of conventional beef and it tasted lean.  

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ricardo.lopez@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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