Scientists just made a meatball using extinct wooly mammoth DNA (Yes, really.)
A meatball made from extinct mammoth DNA was recently unveiled at the Nemo Science Museum in the Netherlands.
The mammoth meatball was dreamed up by Bas Korsten, Global Chief Creative Officer of Wunderman Thompson, and an international team of experts, and produced by Vow, Australia’s first cultured meat company.
The cultured mammoth meatball was created through advanced molecular engineering, using DNA from the extinct wooly mammoth combined with “fragments” of African elephant DNA, a close relative.
“The Mammoth Meatball shows the world that when technology meets creativity it can change our future,” Korsten said in a statement. “Our aim is to start a conversation about how we eat, and what the future alternatives can look and taste like.”
The experiment is meant to demonstrate the potential of cultured meat, which is grown from animal cells rather than animals themselves. With the latest advancements, researchers say cultured meat can be “designed” to taste better and have more nutritional value than traditional meat.
“What’s truly exciting about this project is the ability to create a protein that hasn’t existed in thousands of years,” said Vow Chief Scientific Officer James Ryall.
“Cultivated meat allows us to push the boundaries of culinary innovation and create entirely new food experiences. Rather than simply replicating existing products, this technology offers us the opportunity to create something truly unique and better.”
It also has the potential to reduce the emissions and environmental impacts associated with livestock meat production, according to researchers.
Vow, based in Sydney, saw $49.2M Series A funding in November, a record for the cultured meat industry. The company plans to launch its first brand, Forged by Vow, this year in Singapore, creating dining experiences that feature cultured meat.
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