30 March 2023, 17:07

Woolly mammoth meatball is an unusual exhibit in a Dutch museum

Woolly mammoth meatball is an unusual exhibit in a Dutch museum
This exhibit of the NEMO Science Museum in the Netherlands has somewhat stunned the global scientific community. After all, this is the world's first meatball made from the DNA of an extinct animal.

It was possible to create such a “product” by the efforts of geneticists and the Australian company Vow, which is engaged in the production of artificial meat. Now under a glass jar is a giant meatball made from lab-grown meat from an extinct woolly mammoth.

To create the "exhibit", the researchers determined the DNA sequence of mammoth myoglobin, a key protein that gives meat its flavor. To hide the gaps in the genetic code, they used the genes of the African elephant, the closest living relative of the mammoth.

The resulting mammoth myoglobin gene was implanted into some sheep cells. And after that we started the procedure of growing cages for mammoth meatballs. In total, the process took several weeks. The result pleasantly surprised the researchers – more than 20 billion cells were grown on an area of ​​about 100 m², from which a giant meatball was formed.

The subsequent procedure for preparing meatballs consisted of baking it in the oven and frying it with a blowtorch.

Why did scientists go for such an experiment? They explained their decision to create such a product because they want to pay attention to the rapid growth in meat consumption, which causes an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and unpredictable consequences for the climate.


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