I submitted such an application for a contest of ideas in Skolkovo for Startup Village 2019, this application is a logical continuation of a series of articles on indigenous microbes that I started a little over a month ago, the articles themselves is in my profile.
Indibiome Children's Labs
Project summary showing current events and main project goals
Indibiome Laboratories for Children are scientific laboratories that provide a safe environment in which children (13+) will learn how to analyze food content and study the effects of food on health. As planned, children will spread this knowledge through social networks, which will allow to teach other children and adults, attracting attention to this topic.
Problem the project has to solve
In some countries, the epidemic of childhood obesity has reached a horrific 30 percent, ADHD in developed countries ranges from 7 (in the UK) to 15 (US) percent, autism is approaching every fifth, researchers from the SEARCH study for diabetes among young people have published data that show that Type 2 diabetes in children aged 10 to 19 years increased by 21 percent between 2001 and 2009. It is widely known that nutrition plays a key role in all of the above diseases, however, nutrition education should be promoted, attracting all age groups.
Coupled with a decrease in activity, an increase in sugar consumption over the past 20-30 years gives a terrible prospect of how a generation of young people will now look in 20 years.
Public organizations are fighting industrial companies to reduce their sugar content, while brilliant packaging and low cost make harmful products more accessible to low/middle income families, which contributes to the development of epidemics and worsening quality of life.
A hundred years ago, we rejoiced at the opportunity to fight infections with antibiotics, but today the same weapon strikes back at our children by destroying the microbiome, which in combination with a low amount of fiber consumed (at least 50 percent of the amount recommended by WHO) leads to inflammation. All of the above diseases have a relationship with inflammatory processes in the body.
School education in the field of nutrition exists, however, it seems that children have not trusted adults for several decades. The world generates so much information noise and false advertising that no teacher can convince children and information simply cannot reach the younger generation.
How does the project solve the described problem and what is the innovative approach?
Indibiome Laboratories is a safe learning environment in which children, while playing, learn the contents of food from the shelves of nearby supermarkets, under the supervision of scientists. After receiving the results, the children make small videos on the indibiome joint channel on youtube and make an entry in the global indibiome food database. Children are honest and sincere by nature, so most children over 10 prefer to choose channels created by other children, and this is a really powerful tool. In addition, it solves the problem of dependence on gadgets, as children will use devices to create or view useful content.
Indibiome Laboratories use the capabilities of local universities and invite (with material compensation) scientists to collaborate with children in real research projects. Thus, our project is an academic project, exchange and professional growth, since in many countries (for example, in Russia) scientists are not very well paid.
A safety problem exists, since, for example, studying the content of probiotics will be unsafe due to the risk of growth of pathogens. This can be solved with the help of technology: in an isolated box with laboratory equipment located inside, where all operations can be performed by robots or manipulators, like in the movie you see special thick gloves. In order not to expose children to danger, the equipment should be cleaned when children are at school (first part of the day).
Many foods can be studied using color reactions (for example, www.sciencecompany.com/Food-Chemistry-Experiment.aspx
sells chemistry to determine sugar, protein, fat and vitamin C). These colored samples can be graphed using OEM cameras (not very expensive), digitized images can be used to compare the content of vitamins in fruits and vegetables using standards developed and calibrated centrally in our research center.
The above examples of research will help to connect different children's specialties: some children will lead the development of algorithms, others - the development of robotics using FAB labs, a lot of opportunities for young experimenters in a wet laboratory and children interested in shooting videos or animation, It is also important that teamwork experience, so necessary and replacing an ineffective competition approach in education.
Another part of innovation is the production of new chemicals to detect more and more components in food. Interestingly, it will be possible to evaluate both the benefit profile and the toxicity profile.
Another interesting part of the project is food testing, where children can use as food on the shelves affect the health of their parents. You can use non-invasive tests (microbiota) or analyze the blood drop by drop to measure the impact of healthy food on their parents. This type of experiment will have protocols developed by the children themselves, however, under the supervision of nutritionists and nutritionists.
The last example of what can be done in such laboratories is the analysis of dietary fiber, it can be perfectly produced using microscopes that children love so much. One of the most popular microscopes is the hand-held microscope of the British Museum of Natural History, a microscope that costs only 12 pounds. Here is an example of the work of my friend, Daniel 10 years over the weekend ( link
). Indibiome is developing a similar food research device so that children can test food while walking or before eating, and the more they experiment, the easier it will be to distinguish good from bad.
Social media reports should be excellent feedback for companies. Under the onslaught of public opinion and independent children's research, they will change the formulation of products.
Technology of the proposed project will include: the creation of safe boxes for experiments, the production of chemicals, robots and microscopes. In addition, algorithms and databases will be created that will be free and open source.
The report ( link
) says education for children is one of the most growing segments, some countries spend from 30 to 70 thousand dollars on the private education of one child per year ( link
Parents are willing to pay for education in the franchise laboratories, and the company will receive a profit from reagent subscriptions, although the main focus on the proceeds from the sale of franchises.
The most interesting thing in the project is the ability to do low-cost research for small companies that produce really useful products, they can send their marketing budgets for real research, and not for advertising in instagrams and fb, for the lab network itself it will be real profit.
I will be glad to any feedback and maybe see you at the pitch session.