已灭绝猛犸象DNA被培育制成肉丸? 你想试试吗……




A giant meatball made from flesh cultivated using the DNA of an extinct woolly mammoth was unveiled on Tuesday at Nemo, a science museum in the Netherlands.

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The meatball was created by Australian cultured meat company Vow which - promising this was not an April Fools' joke - said it wanted to get people talking about cultured meat, calling it a more sustainable alternative for real meat.


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"We wanted to create something that was totally different from anything you can get now," Vow founder Tim Noakesmith told Reuters, adding that an additional reason for choosing mammoth is that scientists believe that the animal's extinction was caused by climate change.

据报道,这种肉丸是由绵羊细胞(sheep cells),结合猛犸象肌红蛋白(myoglobin)的DNA序列(DNA sequence)混合而成的细胞培育结果。不过,由于获取的猛犸象DNA序列有部分缺失,因此也插入了一些非洲象的DNA来补齐它。该公司首席科学官詹姆斯·赖尔声称:“肉类的色泽和味道与肌红蛋白有关。” 

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The meatball was made of sheep cells inserted with a singular mammoth gene called myoglobin.

Since the mammoth's DNA sequence obtained by Vow had a few gaps, African elephant DNA was inserted to complete it.

"When it comes to meat, myoglobin is responsible for the aroma, the color and the taste", James Ryall, Vow's Chief Scientific Officer explained.


"Much like they do in the movie Jurassic Park", Ryall said, stressing the biggest difference is that they were not creating actual animals.


While creating cultured meat usually means using blood of a dead calf, Vow used an alternative, meaning no animals were killed in the making of the mammoth meatball.


The meatball, which has the aroma of crocodile meat, is currently not for consumption.


"Its protein is literally 4,000 years old. We haven't seen it in a very long time. That means we want to put it through rigorous tests, something that we would do with any product we bring to the market," Noakesmith said.


The carcasses of mammoths, which went extinct about 5,000 years ago, have been found so well preserved in permafrost, they still had blood in their veins.

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Love Dalén, a professor of evolutionary genomics at Stockholm Universitys Centre for Paleogenetics who sequenced the worlds oldest mammoth DNA, knows what mammoth meat actually tastes like.


During a field trip to the Yana River in Siberia in 2012, Dalén said he tried a small piece of frozen meat taken from partial carcass of a baby mammoth. While he said couldnt see great scientific value in the meatball project, were they to ever go on sale, Dalén said he would definitely taste one.

“Without doubt I would love to try this!” he said. “It cannot possibly taste worse than real mammoth meat.”


Advocates hope cultured meat will reduce the need to slaughter animals for food and help fight the climate crisis. The food system is responsible for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions, most of which result from animal agriculture.


Vow hopes to soon get regulatory approval in Singapore, the first country to approve cultured meat, to sell lab-made quail meat it has developed. In the United States, the FDA has said that lab-grown chicken is OK for human consumption.




Italy's government has approved a bill banning the production and use of lab-grown food and feed.

The aim is to protect the country's agri-food heritage, according to the country’s agriculture minister.




If the proposal is passed by parliament, Italian industry will not be allowed to produce food or feed "from cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals", the bill said.

The bill stipulates that anyone who violates the new law can be fined up to €60,000 euros, losing the right to public funding for up to three years. Factories where violations occur can be shut down.



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