For the first time ever, meat was created in space — but no animals were harmed in the making of this 3D bioprinted “space beef.”
Aleph Farms, an Israeli food company, announced today (Oct. 7) that its experiment aboard the International Space Station resulted in the first-ever lab-grown meat in space. The company focuses on growing cultivated beef steaks, or growing an entire piece of real, edible meat out of just a couple of cells, in this case, bovine cell spheroids, in a lab.
On the space station, the experiment involved growing a piece of meat by mimicking a cow’s natural muscle-tissue regeneration process. Aleph Farms collaborated with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions and two U.S.-based food companies to test this method in space.
On Sept. 26, the team established a proof of concept when the astronauts performing the test were able to produce a small piece of cow muscle tissue on the space station. The experiment took place inside of a 3D bioprinter developed by 3D Bioprinting Solutions. Bioprinting is a process in which biomaterials, like animal cells, are mixed with growth factors and the material “bioink,” and “printed” into a layered structure. In this case, the resulting structure is a piece of muscle tissue.
This article was originally posted on Queer SF