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New Harvest funds fundamental research for the production of cultured chicken meat

Leading Avian Tissue Researcher Begins Research On The Production of Chicken Meat without Chickens

Published June 6, 2016 | Updated October 4, 2021 |

Raleigh, NC (June 1, 2016) — Groundbreaking research that aims to bring cultured meat closer to dinner plates and grocery store shelves is receiving a major boost.

New Harvest, the New York City-based research institute, has announced new financial support for a foundational cultured avian tissue research project for the purpose of creating chicken and turkey meat without animals.

Dr. Paul Mozdziak, a world expert in the culture of chicken and turkey myogenic cells, and his graduate student Marie Gibbons will undertake the critical, catalytic research at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University (NCSU).

“Biologically, chicken and turkey muscle cells may be superior to those from other livestock animals – such as cattle and pigs – for large-scale cultured meat production,” said Dr. Mozdziak.

New Harvest’s financial support to the team at NCSU will total $118,800, provided over 2 years.

“If we want cultured meat to exist, we need to ensure that researchers have access to the right research tools. Cells are the basic building blocks of cultured meat research. By establishing an animal cell line as a common research tool, we’re opening up the field of cellular agriculture,” said Isha Datar, CEO of New Harvest.

The goal of the laboratory work is to enable easier access to basic research tools which will lower barriers for other researchers to enter and advance in the field of cellular agriculture. By making chicken and turkey “starter cells” easier to access, dependence on slaughtered animals as an initial source for cells will be reduced.

Datar and Mozdziak believe that the outcome of the project will greatly reduce the numbers of chickens and turkeys on which humans rely for meat.

Today, poultry far outnumber other species of farmed animals.

According to US Department of Agriculture Poultry Slaughter summary reports, over 8.8 billion chickens and 232.3 million turkeys were slaughtered in 2015 in the United States alone.

Although in its nascent stages, the field of cellular agriculture could mean safer, cleaner, cruelty-free mass meat production. The technology also holds potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, water use, pollution, and antibiotic resistance.

New Harvest’s grant funding was made possible through private donations from 366 individual donors to the charity. 

About New Harvest. New Harvest is a 501(c)(3) research institute established in 2004 to build the field of cellular agriculture. The registered US nonprofit is guided by a vision of a resilient, vibrant post-animal bioeconomy built on a foundation of openly accessible, fundamental scientific research, in which animal products are harvested from cell cultures and not animals in order to feed a growing global population sustainably and affordably. New Harvest is headquartered in New York City, with an office in San Francisco.

About Dr. Paul Mozdziak. Paul Mozdziak is a Professor in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. He is a leading expert in animal cell culture techniques, transgenic animal production, and muscle biology. Dr. Mozdziak’s research interests include the understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms governing skeletal muscle growth, and understanding the relationship between nutritional manipulations and muscle fibre growth.

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