”To infinity, and beyond!” – Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story

The future aspects of our project, the Edible coli, mainly comprise the question: “Would people ever accept microorganisms as a comestible?”

Through synthetic biology, the list of possibilities for changing the characteristics of different microorganisms is endless. To modify a strain of E. coli to become an edible and nutritional bacteria by converting non-edible material would be an advantageous food supply, since E. coli and many microorganisms in general have a rapid growth and, in most cases, easy cultivation. Source: GMO Compass, 2006: GM Microorganisms Taking the Place of Chemical Factories. (Link) The idea about making the Edible coli’s own nutrition supply consist of otherwise non-edible or -degradable material is the greatest advantage of this specific genetically modified microorganism though, since this makes the Edible coli a sustainable food supply.

As mentioned in the section; “Facts and statistics”, many people currently suffer from hunger and undernourishment. Along with this, humanity consume 1.5 of the Earth’s total biocapacity every year, which means that the biocapacity will decrease, like it already has been decreasing. Source: WWF, Living Planet Report 2012: Biodiversity, biocapacity and better chioces. P. 38-40. (Link) With the exponential growth of the human population, this reduction of the biocapacity will only decrease faster and faster, Source: Population media Center, 2009: Issue we Address. (Link) and humanity will thus lack a food supply in the future – an alternative food source is needed. The Edible coli is a proposal for this, but could only be accomplished through synthetic biology.This of course implies some ethical issues as discussed in the "Ethics" section. Synthetic biology and genetic modification, first and foremost, have a great opposition to overcome, regarding implementing these techniques in the production of food.

Apart from these considerations, for the Edible coli to become a reality, several more experiments has to be accomplished which will be discussed under next steps.