The giant meatball, made from meat grown using the DNA of an extinct woolly mammoth, was exhibited at the science museum Nemo, also in the Netherlands, yesterday.
Woolly mammoth remains, with its fur and tissues still intact, are regularly found buried in the frozen soils of the Arctic. The discovery of these remains allows scientists to uncover the mammoth genome and learn intriguing details about the lives of these extinct Ice Age giants. And yes, it’s also used in making meatballs from their DNA.
An Australian startup, Vow, has succeeded in producing a meat it describes as mammoth patties in the laboratory. According to the company, the aim of the project is to highlight the potential of cultured meat to make diets more planet-friendly. “We need to start rethinking how we get our food,” said James Ryall, Vow’s chief science officer, in a statement.
“Like Jurassic Park”
The meatballs produced were of course not made for human consumption and only represent a vision. On the other hand. On the other hand, calling this meatball mammoth meatball directly is a bit of an understatement. It would be more accurate to say exactly “laboratory lamb meat mixed with mammoth DNA”. In addition, African elephant DNA was inserted into several gaps found in mammoth DNA. But all of the myoglobin responsible for aroma, color and taste was taken from mammoth DNA. “Like they did in the movie Jurassic Park,” Ryall said, with the only difference being that real animals are not made. As a result of the studies, the team was able to produce approximately 400 grams of mammoth meat in the laboratory environment.
Ryall said that mammoth myoglobin changes the physical appearance of sheep muscle cells. “Although our ancestors hunted and probably feasted on mammoths, they did not taste the meatballs. We’re talking about a protein. I have no idea what the potential allergenicity of this protein might be.”
Cultured Meat Will Replace Real Meat
Cultured meat, defined as artificial meat, cultivated meat or laboratory meat, is expected to become widespread in the coming years. Today, large-scale meat production, especially beef, harms the environment. Many studies show that meat consumption in rich countries must be reduced drastically in order to end the climate crisis. Raised meat uses far less land and water than farm animals, and also produces no methane emissions.
Vow said that all of the energy it uses comes from renewable sources and that fetal bovine serum, a growth medium made from bovine fetuses, is not used in any of its commercial products. Currently, many companies are working on artificial meat production to replace traditional meats such as chicken and beef.
I can’t be the only one wondering about the taste of that meatball, right? – Ece