The race is on to produce the world's first artificial hamburger, as a US start-up company has announced plans to use 3-D printing to create raw meat.
Modern Meadows, based in Missouri and backed by former Paypal and Facebook investor Peter Thiel, aims to use a pioneering new technique of 3-D printing, which, instead of ink (2-D printing) or plastic (standard 3-D printing) uses "bioink" - live stem, or other specialised, cells. This living material is then assembled into the desired shape drop-by-drop, then it naturally fuses to create living tissue.
Whilst plastic-based 3-D printing has seen rapid development over the past few years, Professor Gabor Forgacs of the University of Missouri warns that "printing biomaterial is an entirely different ball game", with more complex technology required and far more stringent safety standards to be adhered to.
Last year, a Dutch lab showcased 2.5cm strips of meat that they had created using a different technique with the aim of eventually creating a synthetic burger, with this estimated to cost around £200,000, so it's going to be a bit more expensive than popping into McDonalds.
Well, enough talk; whoever wants to win the prize needs to get a moo-ve on.
(Images: Rex Features)