Soylent Microbiome Study

Experiment is a science crowdfunding platform for relatively small projects, right now there’s one for a short study on how 2.0 affects the microbiome. The experiment details aren’t necessarily set in stone, the plan for now is about 10 participants to eat Soylent for 3 days, then eat normally for another 5 days, and take a microbiome sample at 7 times from each participant. There’s also a control group that just eats normally. I wonder if RL would be willing to provide some free 2.0 for this?

30 days left and personally I hope it gets funded - check it out, see if you like it:

hah, I scooped @inquirerer :laughing:


Wow, that is interesting! I didn’t even realize that the website existed, but crowdfunding science is a cool concept.


Since probably >95% of the effect on the human biome of Soylent 2.0 can be attributed to isomaltooligosaccharide (IMO), it would make more sense for the following:

two groups:
IMO + control


three groups:
IMO + 2.0 + control


four groups:
IMO + 2.0 + 1.5 + control

but not

2.0 + control

because IMO is a confounding variable.

My guess is that

IMO to 2.0


1.5 to control

will be highly correlated.

I’m confused, why is IMO a confounding variable if the goal is to study 2.0’s effect on the microbiome?

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Why’s the control group so tiny?

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The cost of the microbiome sampling/analysis is the main culprit; the cost of Soylent/other is small.

The more people in your control group, the more people you have to sample, and the price goes up.


Looks like the study has been fully funded. (currently 102% funded with 4 days left)

Edit: I wasn’t trying to dissuade people from further giving, if they were so inclined. It does say on the page:
“Any additional funds raised past our goal will be used to increase the sample size and increase the number of microbiome measurements we will take.”


That’s good news! I look forward to seeing their results

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Did you finish this project? You got funded but I don’t see any posts after fall 2016?

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The study is being run out of UC Berkeley by the students who ran the crowdfunding. The planning and approval process takes a lot of time when working with human subjects, because they’re doing this as a formal study.

They didn’t get IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval for the study until well into the Fall semester of 2016.

The study is actually running now, you can get current updates here:


Duh, I know how to Google too, that website hasn’t been updated since the fall, either. Seems dead, hence my comment. Do you know the study is active or are you just going off that website?

Looks like their trial phase finished, samples were sent in, and they’ve got the raw data back! 13/14 participants produced usable data and no one got ill. Now they’re analyzing the data and getting guidance from senior staff to formally write down their findings.


Awesome! Looking forward to it