Innovation That Matters

Minced beef | Photo source Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

A gene-editing tool to make real meat cheaply and without a farm


Bill Gates funded startup could disrupt the $200 billion meat industry

Spotted: A Bill Gates-funded startup is experimenting with a cheaper way to create meat in a lab. Memphis Meats has applied for a patent to use DNA editing, known as CRISPR, to create chicken and beef using the cells from a type of chicken – the Gallus gallus – and a type of livestock – the Bos taurus.

There are lots of efforts underway to grow meat in labs from animal cells. But using CRISPR (a gene-editor) could make the process cheaper and more efficient. CRISPR is an enzyme that acts like a pair of scissors, snipping specific bits of DNA to address particular characteristics, like the gene that causes a banana to brown. Types of mushrooms and corn have been created using CRISPR, but they are not commercially available yet. Using CRISPR on lab-grown meats could pave the way to creating sustainable meat eating.



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