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Research

Why Systems Biology?

 

Systems biology is a holistic approach to deciphering complexity that’s based on the understanding that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It has been responsible for some of the most important developments in the science of wellness and environmental sustainability. Plants and fish have some of the most complex genomes and species diverse microbiomes. It is imperative that Project Feed 1010 apply the systems biology approach to unravel from a multidimensional big data space the network of networks of tens of thousands of genes within trillions of plant, fish and microbial cells.

 

Research Aims

The research aim of Project Feed 1010 will be to optimize aquaponics systems (aquaculture + hydroponics), which can recycle up to 98% of water and nutrients to support year‐round crop production within repurposed land, including backyards, rooftops, and high‐rises in an urban setting.

 

Our goals are to:
  • Standardize, automate, and democratize these systems so they can be widely disseminated across the network at low cost
  • Equip the aquaponics systems with standardized probe sets for real‐time monitoring of diverse environmental variables, which will be continuously streamed to a centralized ISB cloud
  • Pioneer the development of inference engines that will mine and discover disparate patterns for improving yield and quality of produce, while providing real‐time actionable feedback to aquaponics farmers.

Given that this is a multifactorial optimization problem, the power of crowdsourcing is precisely what is required to test the multitudes of combinations of environmental variables (e.g., temperature, light, humidity, etc.), nutritional compositions (e.g., N, P, S, trace metals, etc.), types of fish and plants, and even the composition of the plant, water, and fish microbiomes. Students, scientists, teachers, farmers, and citizens can participate in this network to accelerate optimization of this proven sustainable agriculture system.