Wooly mammoth meatballs are a thing.

But would you want to eat one?

Woolly mammoths, which roamed the Earth during the Ice Age, are long extinct. But remains found in Arctic permafrost have helped scientists sequence their genome and learn fascinating facts about these gigantic creatures.

Now, a food startup has found a surprising use for mammoth DNA.

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During a media event on Tuesday, an Australian cultured meat company called Vow unveiled a meatball consisting of lab-grown mammoth meat at a science museum in the Netherlands.

In the typical process of making cultured meat, cells are extracted from a living animal, after which they are grown into meat within a lab by “immersing them in nutrients.”

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Since the project team did not have access to preserved mammoth tissue, they identified the mammoth version of the protein myoglobin, which gives meat its texture, flavor and color, from the publicly available genome database.


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