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Con­sumers are al­ready tuck­ing into lab-grown burg­ers – now sci­en­tists have suc­ceeded in pro­duc­ing the world’s first steaks that don’t re­quire the slaugh­ter of an an­i­mal.

Biotech­nol­o­gists at Is­raeli startup com­pany Aleph Farms har­vested cells from two liv­ing cows then set to work mak­ing the cells mul­ti­ply. Petri dishes con­tain­ing the cells were placed in spe­cial in­cu­ba­tors which per­fectly im­i­tate con­di­tions in­side a cow’s body. The re­sult­ing cells were then com­bined and – voila! – they pro­duced steak. But the boffins say they still need to do more work to achieve a truly re­al­is­tic flavour.

The steaks take three weeks to pro­duce and are about the size of a credit card. They’re ex­pected to go on sale within the next two years at a cost of around $50 (about R700) each. But as the tech­nol­ogy im­proves and they be­come quicker to make the price will prob­a­bly come down.

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