cloud biology lab
A downloadable tool
I was in a team developing online biology interactive platforms. These browser-based online platforms allow multiple users to control stimuli for groups of living microorganisms, where the group behaviors of organisms are broadcasted on web.
1. Online Interactive Systems for Euglena gracilis
Euglena responses to the different intensities and wavelength of light with various modes of locomotory behavior, which is called phototaxis in biology. The developed system uses light stimli to interact with a group of euglena housed in a remote microfluidic chamber.
There were two different modes for interaction. First, a user can directly control the light stimuli using a virtual joystick to interact with a group of euglena or the user can use a web platform to design light stimuli patterns.
2. Online Interactive Physarum System
Physarum polycephalum (common name: slime mold) has two distinct forms, a motile single cell and a structure formed by aggregation of multiple cells that looks like a yellow slime blob, hence the common name. When physarum is searching for food, the organism displays an interesting optimal path searching behavior and other sets of intelligent behaviors which fascinated physicists and biologists.
Using our online system, a user can control an experiment robotic unit, which acts on the live physarum culture maintained in the biology lab. When a request from the online users is submitted (drawing a chemical droplet pattern onto a browser-based graphical user interface), the robotic unit takes the request and prints the pattern onto the surface of a solid medium where the physarum resides on. Based on the previous patterns of the droplets made and the nature of the newly dispensed chemical, physarum aggregation grows and retracts, creating complex visual patterns.