Ars on your lunch break, part three: Woolly mammoths and synthetic meat

 arstechnica.com  6/14/2018 4:01:23 PM   Rob Reid
Mmmmmm, synthetic meat....

Today we present the third and final installment of my interview with George Church, whose Harvard lab is one of the most celebrated fountains of innovation in the world of life science. Please check out part one and part two if you missed them. The article accompanying part one will also give you the lowdown on this experimental melding of Ars Technica’s written pages with a long-form podcast series.

We start today’s installment by discussing an audacious project to resurrect the wooly mammoth—or at least certain genes of it, which allowed it to thrive in frigid regions. The modern Asian elephant is a close cousin to the mammoth, and infusing those genes into its genome could give us a hybrid “arctic elephant.” Such a critter could play a key role in preserving the integrity of the permafrost layer, which currently fixes more CO2 than all of the world’s rainforests combined.

From mammoths, George and I turn to the topic of synthetic meats, which could enter our kitchens and bellies much sooner than most people think. A top company in this field (Memphis Meats) is building on work that originated in George’s lab. Its financial, ethical, and environmental ramifications could be immense.

We close by discussing an ambitious longevity project currently underway in George’s lab. It’s not about life extension—but aging reversal. George’s lab and a company that spun out of it have tested multiple therapies with eye-popping results. Commercial products will target dogs before humans, and pet-owners might be able to access them in just a few years.

You can listen to this episode via this embedded player, or you can find the transcript immediately below:

If you enjoyed my interview with George, please consider browsing the full archives of the After On podcast on my site. Alternatively, you can find the show in your favorite podcast app simply by searching the words “After On.” I’ve posted deep-dive interviews with dozens of world-class thinkers, founders, and scientists—tackling subjects like robotics, cryptocurrency, astrophysics, drones, genomics, synthetic biology, neuroscience, consciousness, privacy and government hacking, and more.

I also hope you’ll join me here again on Ars soon, when we’ll be featuring another of my episodes. Look for it in the upcoming weeks!

This special edition of the Ars Technicast podcast can be accessed in the following places:

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-ars-technicast/id522504024?mt=2 (Might take several hours after publication to appear.)

RSS:
http://arstechnica.libsyn.com/rss

Stitcher
http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ars-technicast/the-ars-technicast

Libsyn:
http://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/arstechnica

« Go back