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"I do think there is a link in that in both cases, writing fiction or writing a computer program, at any given moment you're focusing on a very specific and particular thing—one word, one line of code, whatever."
- Neal Stephenson

Animal-tissue Culture Vat  
  A means of producing artificial meat for food.  

Piper also calls it a "animal-tissue culture plant".

"You know, the main base off Niflheim is practically self-supporting, with hyproponic-gardens and animal-tissue culture vats..."
From Uller Uprising, by H. Beam Piper.
Published by Twayne Publishers in 1952
Additional resources -

Here's another quote:

"On this planet, there's not more than a three months' supply of any sort of food a human can eat. And the ships that'll be coming in until word of our plight can get to Terra won't bring enough to keep us going. We need the farms and livestock and the animal-tissue culture plant at Konkrook, and the farms at Krink and on the plateau back of Skilk, and we need peace and native labor to work them."

Compare to artificial food from The World Set Free (1914) by H.G. Wells, synthetic food from Unto us a Child is Born (1933) by David H. Keller, syntho-steak from Farmer in the Sky (1950) by Robert Heinlein, vat meat from The End of the Line (1951) by James Schmitz, Chicken Little from The Space Merchants (1952) by Frederik Pohl and CM Kornbluth, carniculture plants (factories) from Four-Day Planet (1961) by H. Beam Piper, butcher plant from Time is the Simplest Thing (1961) by Clifford Simak, pseudoflesh from Whipping Star (1969) by Frank Herbert, vat-grown meat from Neuromancer (1984) by William Gibson and ChickieNobs from Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Uller Uprising
  More Ideas and Technology by H. Beam Piper
  Tech news articles related to Uller Uprising
  Tech news articles related to works by H. Beam Piper

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