AP Biology class blog for discussing current research in Biology

Tag: meat

Could This New Gene Editing Technique Increase Burger Supply?

A gene editing technique by the name of CRISPR is a very important and useful tool in the scientific world of genetics. CRISPR is essentially a way for scientists to edit genes which is becoming useful in many different studies such as cancer research. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. The process contains two main components: a Cas9 protein and a guide RNA. The Cas9 protein’s job is to cut DNA while the guide RNA is what recognizes what needs to be edited. Once a specific guide RNA is created for a specific part of the DNA that scientists want to edit, it is then attached to Cas9. This complex is then added to theVaca (Bos primigenius taurus), Tierpark Hellabrunn, Múnich, Alemania, 2012-06-17, DD 02 target cells where it cuts finds and cuts the matching DNA portion to then be edited. This gene editing process is not only used on human cells, but animal cells as well.

U.S. regulators have now said that certain cattle produced through CRISPR are going to be able to be raised for the production of meat. These specific cattle are called the PRLR-Slick cattle which are among a few of the CRISPR animals that are approved for food purposes. These specific cattle were the first to receive a “low-risk determination for enforcement discretion”. When looking at the specific gene editing that was done to the cattle it was very similar to the natural mutations that occur when cattle are placed in hot climates. They were therefore able to conclude that these cattle who were short-haired cattle were the same as the non edited cattle with the same hair mutation trait (caused by CRISPR). The company who produced the cattle, Acceligen, claim they produced the cattle in order to tolerate hot weather better.

CRISPR Produce… the future of Food?

For years, people have been getting their food from, primarily, agricultural and cattle sectors; however, with CRISPR, everything is about to change. Or is it? Can CRISPR actually be used to make food in labs and completely change the way that the world receives their nourishment? These are questions that tech, scientists, and investor moguls have been asking for years, and Bill Gates’ new start up may have found the answer!  

Memphis meats, a new tech company that is backed two tech moguls, Bill Gates’ and Richard Branson, believes that they have found a new way to feed the world. The Memphis team have been successful in creating lab grown meat, using the CRISPR method. With their proprietary patented technique, Memphis meats could be changing the world. One may not understand how beneficial lab grown food would be. It would: save animals, lower the amount of water use (while raising the cattle), and be able to be made both healthier and tastier.


The company uses a special technique that allows them to manufacture skeletal muscle, that is edible, using cells from the poultry species Gallus gallus, and from the livestock species Bos Taurus. In addition, Memphis meats is also exploiting new and innovative ways to make their products better for the environment and public health, and more affordable, and in turn, scalable – mass produced. With all this great innovation and progress, Memphis Meats says that they are a long way from making a product that is ready for customers and consumers. However, the future of food and agriculture is promising.

What do you think? Could CRISPR and “lab meats” change the way that humans get their food? Only time will tell.

This article is by Jon Christian from Futurism. The research and technology is proprietary and patented and not for the public to see.


Do You Really Want that Third Piece of Bacon?

This is a picture of a hamburger, which is a form of red meat often consumed by individuals everywhere. Found on Wikimedia Commons.

How many  people do you know that eat bacon every day?

What about a hamburger?

Did you know that the Harvard School of Public Health has recently discovered that red meat consumption can strongly contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer, ending one’s life prematurely? These days, it is much healthier to eat “poultry, nuts, fish and legumes.” We need alternative sources of protein.

According to Nutrition researcher and author An Pan, who works at the Harvard School of Public Health,

“…eating high amounts of red meat has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers in other studies.”

It is scary to think that every time someone consumes red meat daily, there is a 13% increased chance of death. Eating processed meat is even worse because if eaten daily, there is a 20% increased chance of death. Every time someone consumes heme iron, carcinogens that are released from the meat during cooking, saturated fat, sodium and nitrates from his or her steak, these risk percentages rise. It has been researched that these risks can be weighted more heavily depending on “age, body mass index, family history of heart disease or major cancers.”

Now, we know that the protein replacements of fish (7%), poultry (14%), nuts (19%), legumes (10%), low-fat dairy products (10%) and whole grain (14%) have great percentages for lower risks of premature death. If people “eat less than 0.5 serving per day of red meat, 9.3% of deaths in men and 7.6% of deaths in women can be prevented.”

Mortality is an important factor for every individual to consider. Why waste life away to eat a slice of bacon each morning?



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