Giant meatball with woolly mammoth DNA unveiled
STORY: This meatball is made using mammoth DNA
Vow, the company that made it, says
this is not an April Fools' joke
[LOCATION: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS]
It has mammoth genes that are
4,000 years old
[JAMES RYALL, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, VOW]
"We inserted the gene from the mammoth
into these sheep cells and then over-expressed
that gene really, really highly.
So all that means is that we could detect
the amount of traditional sheep myoglobin
inside the cells and we could detect over 100 times
more mammoth myoglobin in those cells themselves,
so quite a significant portion of what you can see here
in front of you today comes from mammoth."
The mammoth DNA had gaps completed
with African elephant material
Vow wants to get people talking about
'cultured' meat like this
Cultured meat as a food is not regulated
in the EU, which Vow wants to change
They say lab-grown protein is a sustainable
alternative to real meat
[TIM NOAKESMITH, FOUNDER OF VOW]
"We wanted to create something that was
totally different from anything you can get now.
The second reason is that the mammoth
has traditionally been a symbol of loss.
Mammoths we know now were wiped out
because of climate change and we wanted
to draw attention to a different future,
something more exciting, something
where we can eat our way out of extinction."
Vow says the ball must go through rigorous tests
before they say it's okay to eat