‘Frankenstein’ meat grown in petri dish in space for first time
Lab-grown meat has been created in space in an experiment that's truly out of this world.
Israeli and Russian scientists cultured the tiny piece of beef from stem cells while aboard the International Space Station, 248 miles above the Earth's surface.
Cow cells were harvested back on our planet and blasted to the station where they were grown into muscle tissue using a special 3D printer.
Run by Aleph Farms, a food firm that grows cultivated beef steaks, the experiment took place on September 26 within the Russian segment of the space station.
Researchers said the project was carried out to show how lab-grown meat can be cultivated in tough conditions, with minimal resources.
The technique they developed with Russian firm 3D Bioprinting Solutions could be used to provide astronauts with space burgers in the future.
"We are proving that cultivated meat can be produced anytime, anywhere, in any condition," said Aleph Farms boss Didier Toubia.
"We can potentially provide a powerful solution to produce the food closer to the population needing it, at the exact and right time it is needed.
To grow the meat from cow cells, scientists mimicked the natural process of muscle cell regeneration occurring inside a cow's body.
It required the use of a special gadget known as a 3D bioprinter, which sticks together live cells to create something resembling real tissue.
Lab-grown or "slaughter-free" meat looks and tastes like the real thing, but is produced without killing farm animals.
It's previously been labeled "Frankenstein" meat as it's made using the cells of other animals.
The meat-alternative has been touted as a miracle cure for the impending food crisis and climate change.
As much as 96 percent of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions could be cut by switching to fake meat – taking a further step towards tackling global warming.
Didier added that the fact it can be grown aboard the cramped ISS shows little land, water and other resources is needed to make the stuff.
"In space, we don’t have 10,000 or 15,000 liters of water available to produce 1kg of beef," he said.
"This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come while preserving our natural resources."
This story originally appeared in The Sun.