Australian cultured meat company Vow recently revealed something awesome and bizarre to the world in The Netherlands at the Nemo science museum. Via Reuters, Vow grew a huge meatball cultivated from the DNA of a woolly mammoth, which, as you may recall, is extinct. To be more specific, the meatball consists of sheep cells inserted into mammoth myoglobin, and African elephant DNA was used to plug in some gaps in the available mammoth DNA. Per Vow Chief Scientific Officer James Ryall, the myoglobin is what gives meat its aroma, color, and taste, so in that sense, you can still think of it as being primarily a mammoth meatball.
It reportedly smells like crocodile meat, and though its protein underwent “rigorous tests” since it’s 4,000 years old, the meatball is still not meant for public consumption (cowards). Rather, this whole thing is a sort of fun publicity stunt for the value of cultured meat as a business and as a new avenue for mankind. In the best case, growing meat in a lab means that no animals have to die, which is the ultimate dream. This particular meatball was indeed grown without killing any animals, but at the moment, apparently many cultured meats are created using the blood of a dead calf, which is a bummer.
So, a few decades down the line, maybe we will have a good technological tradeoff: AI will have destroyed civilization and pushed the remaining humans to live in a handful of secret bunkers, but at least humans will be surviving with full bellies humanely inside those secret bunkers.