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What did mammoth meat taste like?

After just a few days in Italy they banned the production and marketing of cultured meat, the controversy returns. And it is that Vow, the Australian cultured meat production start-up, has surprised with the announcement that it has produced mammoth meat.

Although the interest of the Vow company that will market its meat under the Forged by Vow brand has clearly been marketing. It has achieved that more than 3000 media have published its news and the whole world knows its brand. In order to produce mammoth meat and reach millions of people with their advertisement, they have used information from DNA found in the permafrost of the Arctic.

The scientists working on the project did not have access to a frozen store of mammoth tissue on which to base their efforts. Instead, they focused on a protein found in mammals called myoglobin. This protein gives meat texture, color and flavor, identifying the DNA sequence of the mammoth version in a publicly available genome database. They filled in the gaps in the mammoth myoglobin DNA sequence using information from the genome of an African elephant. The scientists inserted the synthesized gene into a sheep muscle cell, which was then grown in a laboratory.

"From a genomic point of view, only one gene among all the other genes in sheep is gigantic," said Ernst Wolvetang. "It's a gene out of 25.000," said Wolvetang, a professor and senior group leader at the University of Queensland's Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, who has been part of the project.

 Mammoth meat to promote sustainability

According to the director of Vow, the main objective was to reach the public to publicize the advantages of the production of cultivated meat. All in a market that is growing in population and that demands more and more meat. In addition, cultured meat avoids the need to slaughter animals for food and also helps combat the climate crisis.

In short, a project that has reached many but in the end no one has been able to discover the taste of mammoth meat. The main reason is that for sanitary reasons the little more than 400 grams produced could not be consumed.