Growing fish in space: Lab-grown tuna could feed astronauts of the future

| | July 17, 2020
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Credit: Los Angeles Magazine
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

…. [S]ending items into space is extremely expensive—about $10,000 a pound. Space dwellers will need to find a way to make their own food. But in the vacuum of space, how are we going to “live off the land?”

Emeryville, CA-based Finless Foods thinks it has the answer: grow fish meat in space…without the fish. And they’ve shown it’s possible, raising hopes not just for space colonization, but also for sustainable, cultured food here on Earth.

As if making fishcakes from a few fish cells were not enough, Finless Foods has also shown the potential of cellular agriculture in humanity’s quest to explore space. Last year, they sent fish muscle cells to the International Space Station in collaboration with a Russian mission and 3D Bioprinting Solutions, who provided a 3D bioprinter. The team was able to grow the cells to a certain density, then use the bioprinter to arrange the fish cells into 3D structures, forming small spheres of cells ….

Related article:  What’s going to happen in farm biotech in 2019? Gene-edited foods; lab-grown meat surges; CRISPR regulation clarity

You may think, “Why do all of this in space?” Well, if colonization is going to be possible in space, we would need to be self-sustainable and grow food on site. The average tuna weighs 20 pounds, costing about $200,000 to send it to space. And it’s problematic to have a fish tank in space, where water is precious and gravity is lacking.

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