The problem


53 percent of Earth’s fish stocks are fully exploited, but consumption of fish continues to increase. Our hauls of fish will be smaller and smaller as the years go by, and governments will continue limiting fishing in order to protect our ocean ecosystems. This scarcity of fish meat means that the price of fish will stay on its rising course, putting healthy fish protein out of reach for all but the richest of consumers. The pollution of the ocean also allows for heavy metals like mercury to accumulate in fish, limiting the recommended consumption amounts of this otherwise nutritious and healthy source of energy. 

Fishing is killing our planet. Our ocean ecosystems can’t take the strain of increased fish production, and fish consumption is in a steady rise. Money is being poured into creating efficient aquaculture systems, to grow fish in tanks on land for human consumption. While this is a move in the right direction, if we’re going to make this system as efficient as possible we need to rethink things from the bottom up. Aquaculture is a system of inputs and outputs, why would we have our expensive food inputs create energy for the fish only to have that energy diverted into things we don’t need, like swimming or having a heartbeat? Why can’t we have a system that only puts energy into growing the parts that people want?

Our Solution


By using a combination of well-established and cutting-edge cell culture techniques, a small sample of cells from a living marine animal will be cultured and structured in a brewery-like environment in the same shape as a fish fillet. We will then design a cheap and efficient growth media for this cell line that will allow our cells to grow quickly. Once we have this, we will lay the cells out on a structure that will shape them to both look and have the texture of real fish meat, because it will be - on a cellular level - real fish meat.

 

Our Team

 

Mike selden, Founder & CEO

Michael Selden has a background in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has worked on the evolutionary biomechanics of mantis shrimp, the epigenetics of fusarium oxysporum, and in high-throughput cancer screening. He has also worked as a high school chemistry teacher in Taichung, Taiwan. He moved on to help coordinate scientific research at New Harvest and create a global network of scientists, compiling research to unpack and understand serum-free culture media.

brian wyrwas, Founder & CSO

Brian Wyrwas has a background in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has worked in and managed Dr. Thomas J. Fahey’s endocrine oncology lab, where he specialized in primary culture. Knowledge gained in primary culture gave him the tools to build his next project; growing fish meat from stem cells.

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Jihyun kim, Senior Scientist

Jihyun Kim has a background in Biochemistry, Cellular and molecular biology from University of Georgia. She has identified and characterized conserved mechanisms that influence cell proliferation and how their dysregulation contributes to cancer development and stem cell functions using in vivo models (C. elegans, Drosophila and mouse) and cell culture. She has expertise in immunoassays and cell-based assays.

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Torin yeager, tissue engineer

Torin Yeager is a bioengineer with over a decade of experience investigating how cell, tissue, and organ behavior can be manipulated or recapitulated through mechanical and chemical processes. He earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of California, San Francisco.