In Europe, everybody is talking about the world exhibition EXPO in Milano with the catchy title “Feeding the planet, Energy for Life”. To feed the world with a strongly growing population is no easy task and might be the most challenging one mankind ever faced. Especially in developing countries, undernutrition remains a big problem, even nowadays. Due to food shortage which is caused by high poverty, 166 million children worldwide are stunted from starvation which leads to a poor development impairing them for their whole lives [9].

But not only malnutrition originating from an unequal distribution of food remains a problem. In many countries, we also face the opposite problem of wrong nutrition which leads to obesity. Today, nearly 1.9 billion people worldwide are obese [10] and this number is increasing every year.

In our research on this topic and possible solutions, we learned that the composition of the human gut microbiota is strongly dependent on a person’s diet [4] and even on the physical conditions. To give an example, the amount of proteobacteria in the gut flora is much higher in overweight people [Shin et al. 2015] compared to people with normal body weight. Based on these facts, we developed the idea to influence the human gut in several ways.

Many iGEM teams in previous years and also a lot of research groups often worked on a solution for one of the big problems that affect humanity today, either undernutrition or the overconsumption of food. We, the iGEM Team Marburg, want to find solutions for both sites of the coin. We want to show a novel, innovative and - most important - holistic approach for one of the biggest challenges of mankind. Our set ups might not be used in the near future but shall push innovations to a new level. Therefore, we aimed to contribute with a synthetic biology approach. To achieve this aim, we joined forces to proudly present you: NUTRInity!


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As all our projects are synthetic biology approaches, we are looking for ways to make biology easier to engineer and push synthetic biology projects forward. Therefore, we participated in the InterLab study and extend our work on this in a measurement study.

If you are interested in further information that inspired us, feel free to check our bibliography.

iGEM Marburg - ZSM Karl-von-Frisch-Straße 16, D - 35043 Marburg