Australian cultured meat innovator, Vow, delivers a world first by recreating the cells of a giant wooly mammoth in not just one of the best PR events this year but also the latest innovator to push all boundaries in cultured meat cell science.
Requiring a mere 20-billion cells to 'grow' Vow says it wants to generate discussion around food, and what a decision to eat animal meat really means to the world at large; so they bought an extinct protein back to life.
In other words could humans eat their way out of potential extinction?
See how they have captured the imagination of the world with this agency created video clip.
..and yes the mammoth meatball IS REAL!
James Ryall, Vow’s chief science officer, says Vow first identified the mammoth a protein key to giving meat its colour and flavour, and then set about to identify the DNA sequence in mammoths.
“We filled in any gaps in the DNA sequence of this mammoth protein gene by using the genome of the African elephant, the mammoth’s closest living relative, Ryall said in a video announcing the mammoth meatball.
“We inserted the mammoth protein gene into cells using a very low-current and high-voltage charge. Then we continued to grow and multiply these cells just as would occur in a mammoth thousands of years ago. And the amazing thing about this is that not a single animal needed to die to produce the mammoth meatball.”
Unveiled on 28 March at the NEMO Science Museum in the Netherlands, the mammoth meatball project was co-inspired by marketing communications agency, Wunderman Thompson, and Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, a national museum of natural history and a biodiversity research centre in Leiden, the Netherlands. The project was also supported by Professor Ernst Wolvetang at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering at the University of Queensland.
US Late night talk show host Steven Colbert, couldn't resist the opportunity to check in on the world's largest (only) mammoth meat ball.
Don't expect to see the giant Mammoth meatball in your supermarket meat chiller anytime soon. The project is an de-extinction level event requiring far too many cells and giant non-sustainable packaging.
Vow’s co-founder, George Peppou, says “It’s a bold and exciting experiment that challenges us to think outside the box and imagine a future where meat consumption can be so different from what we know today.”
“The mammoth is a symbol of loss. But we wondered, could this prehistoric creature also become a beacon of hope?” says Vow's Peppou.
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