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Russian cosmonaut manages to "grow" meat in space

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Russian cosmonaut manages to "grow" meat in space

Meat production off Earth has ceased to be fiction since a Russian cosmonaut recently managed to do it on the International Space Station with the help of a 3D printer and cell cultures.

The experiment, the results of which were released on Wednesday, was carried out in September by Oleg Skripotchka and provided small amounts of bovine and rabbit tissue.

According to Didier Toubia, boss of the Israeli company Aleph Farms, which provided the animal cells for the experiment, the technology used could "make" long-term space travel possible, notably to Mars.

"But our goal is really to sell meat on Earth," he said, quoted by the French news agency AFP, adding that the idea is to provide "a better alternative to industrial farms."

For Didier Toubia, the first experiment in space, with the collaboration of Russians, Americans and Israelis, has shown that it is possible to produce meat outside the natural environment and when it is needed.

Six years ago, Dutch scientist Mark Post introduced to the world the first laboratory-produced hamburger from cow stem cells.

Several companies have started producing "artificial or farmed" meat, but their costs remain very high and no such product is for sale.

Industry estimates point to reasonably priced 'in vitro' meat trading in a supermarket fringe within five to 20 years.

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