Scientists seek to ‘grow’ steaks from cow cells for space mission

The Houston Chronicle reports how Axiom Space, a private Houston-based company that bills itself as the “world’s first commercial space station,” plans to send astronauts to the International Space Station with these steaks in tow. The same Chronicle article goes on to report how Axiom uses technology created by Aleph Farms in Israel, which takes cow cells and converts them into muscle, fat and all the other parts that would make it almost indistinguishable from the real thing. thing.

“Aleph’s overall goal is to be able to provide nutritious, tasty and sustainable food anywhere,” Zvika Tamari, head of space research at Aleph, told the newspaper. “And stretching that to its limit is the ability to deliver nutrition as well.” Axiom Space is expected to launch its mission next month.

The use of cellular agriculture is not limited to food either; many scientists see opportunities in its use for things like makeup and everyday materials like silk.

Nevertheless, this does not make it a less amazing science. A 2020 review published in ScienceDirect describes the process behind what is now called “cellular agriculture” as resulting from the use of “any variety of host organisms”, such as in animals, plants or even germs. Growing foods in a lab isn’t a new process for me: just take a look at all those plant-based meats taking up space on a grocery store shelf near you.

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Dino S. Williams