First ever lab-grown 'woolly mammoth meatball' made from DNA of extinct animal

Virgin Radio

29 Mar 2023, 11:43

First ever lab-grown 'woolly mammoth meatball' made from DNA of extinct animal cells

Credit: YouTube / Getty

Anybody for a bowl of woolly mammoth meatballs and spaghetti? Ethical meat is being made in a lab using the cells of prehistoric animals as part of a project to create new meat. And it doesn't involve any slaughter.

Using DNA from the extinct species, Australian company Vow aims to 'use cells from unconventional species to create new kinds of meat' from animals that went extinct thousands of years ago.

The mammoth meatball, created by Professor Ernst Wolvetang at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering at the University of Queensland, was unveiled at science museum Nemo in the Netherlands.

World's first woolly mammoth meatball

Credit: YouTube / Vow

Vow co-founder Tim Noakesmith told The Guardian that they ‘chose the woolly mammoth because it’s a symbol of diversity loss and a symbol of climate change' and hopes to 'highlight the link between large-scale livestock production and the destruction of wildlife and the climate crisis'.

Vow wants to create new meat from over 50 unorthodox species including alpaca, buffalo, crocodile, kangaroo and peacocks. It's thought the first kind of lab-generated meat to be sold in restaurants will be Japanese quail in Singapore later this year.

"It was ridiculously easy and fast," Professor Wolvetang said. "We did this in a couple of weeks."

"We haven’t seen this protein for thousands of years. So we have no idea how our immune system would react when we eat it.

"But if we did it again, we could certainly do it in a way that would make it more palatable to regulatory bodies."

George Peppou, CEO of Vow, told the Guardian: "The goal is to transition a few billion meat eaters away from eating [conventional] animal protein to eating things that can be produced in electrified systems.

"And we believe the best way to do that is to invent meat. We look for cells that are easy to grow, really tasty and nutritious, and then mix and match those cells to create really tasty meat."

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