Creating better diets

Researcher tries making plants more nutritious
Tuesday, May 10, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:16 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Alberto Maurer wants to ease world hunger by making plants more nutritious. He is a research assistant at MU working toward his doctorate in genetics.

For the past two years, he has worked in the lab of his adviser, Elizabeth Rogers, to better understand how plants acquire iron from soil. In many countries, people depend on plants as their main food source and eat little meat; this leads to many iron deficiency problems around the world.

Maurer said it is exciting to enter a new area of research. He enjoys getting results different from those he expected in an experiment, but he does not like it when an experiment does not work.

“Brainstorming and thinking outside the box are cliches that are very alive in my lab,” he said.

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