The liveTile research project is a join project of Design-Tech Lab with the LMME lab lead by Prof. Oren Levy from Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Design-Tech lab.
From the LMME Lab:
Coral reefs are the most diverse and important marine ecosystems on the planet and
have dominated tropical oceans over the past 250 million years. Scleractinian (reef-building) corals are among the most efficient biomineralizing organisms in nature. Thus, the importance of scleractinian corals to global ocean chemistry, nutrient cycles, and the continental shelf-environment in particular, cannot be underestimated. Paradoxically, although there are some indications for rhythmic behavior, very little is known about the circadian clocks that control the biology of these symbiotic organisms.
The aim of our research group is to understand the dependency between environmental cues (e.g. light and temperature) that underlie circadian rhythms in reef-building corals, in regulating physiology and behaviour. Different species of symbiotic corals serve as a model system to find evidence of a molecular mechanism controlling the rhythmic processes of metabolism, photosynthesis, calcification and yearly reproduction cycles.
We are identifying and characterizing homologs of the known circadian clock genes in several coral and sea anemone species; sequencing transcriptomes using RNAseq and examination of their temporal expression patterns. We are further investigating the melatoninergic system in corals to try and understand the principal biological significance of melatonin in different rhythmic processes of Anthozoans. As melatonin is a key neuro hormone involved in governing the temporal activity of many animals, its role in a basal metazoan is of particular evolutionary significance. In addition, we are working toward a characterization of the circadian clock control of the calcification process in corals. Finally, we are conducting transcriptomic profiling of coral spawning in the Red-Sea, Okinawa and the Great Barrier Reef, in an attempt to elucidate the relative role of the solar and lunar environmental cycles governing the exact time of gamete release.
LiveTile project is using new design tools of Computer Aided Indistrial Design (CAID) and digital Clay parametric morphings, together with the largest Clay 3D printer in Israel to produce tiles for a research conducted at IUI research labs. The research will compare between flat tiles to 3D printed tiles with curves and holes in them.