Featured Project

March 22, 2017

Achieving food sovereignty with edible insects: Breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition

Humans' rapidly increasing population combined with a changing climate has contributed to food insecurity, especially in communities affected by economic inequality. The issue affects billions of people worldwide who suffer from micronutrient deficiencies or malnutrition. In Burkina Faso, caterpillars are a nutrient rich delicacy enjoyed and sold by many families. If they are breed correctly, they could help to achieve food sovereignty and break cycles of poverty that often lead to food insecurity. 

The team is made up of three scientist of varying specialties including Charlotte Payne, a Ph.D. student at the University of Cambridge whose love of human origins steered her towards public health and wellbeing, Darja Doberman, whose interests began in psychology and led to a Ph.D. in nutrition at the University of Nottingham, and Athanase Badolo, and associate professor at Université Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo, whose fascination with insects began at three years old. Together, they’re raising funds to create an artificial feed that would allow caterpillars breeding year-round, which can provide a stable source of income and nutrition for families. 

Featured Results

Crowdfunded scientific discoveries

Something is wrong on the Internet! What does the Science Blogger do?

Ever considered running your own science blog? Researcher Paige Brown Jarreau has got your back. With an M.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering under her belt, she pursued a Ph.D. in mass communication and set out to answer two crucial questions. Who are science bloggers? What roles do they play in science communication? She campaigned to provide incentives for science bloggers to complete surveys that collected demographic information.

After raising 152% of her original funding goal on Experiment, she was able to survey over 600 science bloggers a publish results in the Journal of Science Communication. She found that most science bloggers see themselves as 'public intellectuals' and 'explainers of science', and that this perception depended on occupation, gender, and science communication training. She also evaluated statistics relating to educational level and blogging affiliation, and compared her results with those found for science journalists. In addition to finishing her dissertation, she posted lab notes to share data from her study that could help scientists and students understand how to navigate the blogosphere.

More Science

News from around the web

The South American polka dot tree frog is the first fluorescent frog ever found. Before this year, fluorescence was unheard of in amphibians and extremely rare in terrestrial animals. Unlike bioluminescence, fluorescence requires light and can’t exist in total darkness. While it’s pretty common for marine species to exhibit this property, the list of terrestrial species was thought to be limited to some parrots and scorpions.  

Scientific studies have conflicting results when it comes to marijuana research. While a wealth of research has studied how on how marijuana affects the human body, it’s hard to find solid results when methods of data collection are limited to personal surveys. This opinion piece for the Washington Post explores why marijuana research is so difficult to do well.

In celebration of Pi Day (which also happens to be Experiment’s birthday), the Colorado Rockies showcased Pi to 30 decimal places. The picture was admittedly photoshopped, but the Rockies weren’t the only sport’s team paying homage to the irrational constant. Other teams sports teams celebrating the ratio’s approximation included the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls.

Considering whether to attend the March for Science? In these two articles, two scientists discuss science activism and the effects of the science march. Robert S. Young, a professor of coastal geology, argues that the march will politicize science making it harder to progress. Dan Pomeroy, a physicist and grassroots campaigner, believes that science activism in some form is a necessary step towards reforming how science is done and the role it plays in the U.S.


National geographic has done something awesome by unveiling a free website for printing topographical maps. Their website hosts a compilation of every USGS topographical map available across the states and allows users to easily print copies of the maps at home, which could be an invaluable tool for landscape photographers.

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