Scientists in the Netherlands are working on "cultured meat," grown in laboratories from leftover slaughterhouse animal material, and predict that the first lab-grown hamburger may be available in the next year.

The first burger will cost roughly €250,000 (US$345,000), according to Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht, due to the manpower and labwork involved. So far, whitish pale muscle-like strips around 1 inch long and thin enough to be see-through have been created. Supporters of lab-grown meat hope it will prove to be a sustainable, efficient, tasty alternative to conventional meat production.

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"The idea is that since we are now producing it in the lab, we can play with all these variables and we can eventually hopefully turn it in a way that produces healthier meat," said Post. "Whereas in a cow or a pig, you have very limited variables to play with."