Memphis Meat, a startup financed by Bill Gates and Richard Branson is working on „manufacturing skeletal muscle for dietary consumption“, according to Business Insider.
The patents discovered by the journalists refer to the possibility of “increasing real chicken and beef tissue” using the CRISPR genetic editing technique. So, the scientists are trying to combine lab-grown meats and CRISPR to invent the next generation of lab-grown meat — and it could lead to futuristic new frontiers in sustainable eating.
Here is what is written on one of the patents of Memphis Meat: “One application is to manufacture skeletal muscle for dietary consumption using cells from the poultry species Gallus gallus; another is from the livestock species Bos taurus.”
A Memphis Meats spokesperson told Business Insider a little more than that “we are exploring a number of innovative techniques that will allow us to make our products better for the environment and public health, as well as more affordable and scale-able”, but he refused to comment on whether the company’s CRISPR-edited meats could make it to consumers.
The perspective of the gene-edited lab meat is enormous because it could possibly eliminate the need for “fetal bovine serum”, a nutrient-rich mixture made from the blood of slaughtered cows that scientists currently use to nourish lab-grown meats — which would be a big step toward the dinners plates of animal rights advocates.
A founder of Memphis Meats rival, New Age Meats, did go on the record about its work with CRISPR, though, in an interview with the business magazine: “Technologies like [CRISPR] allow us to safely increase the quality of our cell growth, which means we will make meat that is tastier, healthier, and more sustainable than slaughtered meat”.
This invention could lead to cutting down livestock farming, in the future.