Document a final project that integrates the range of units covered.
In this project I tried to encapsulate what I thought was most unique about the HTGAA class; what makes it stand apart. I am blown away by the forum that congregates every week and by the experts at our fingertips. My classmates are scientists, psychologists, artists, designers, and masterminds of the most outlandish projects, like a floating lab on the Amazon. Even an astronaut sauntered into the basement one Sunday to ask about what is next for syn biology on Mars. Obsessed by the strength of our collective minds, I designed a final project to best showcase it. Echoing Kongo, I see the best solutions for wicked problems coming from the outer-circle, the T-shaped people, the accessible and growing diversity of community and DIY syn biologist and engineers.
Below, I have crafted a grand problem to facilitate as an international open syn bio project. It is an environmental threat that I foresee effecting the global ecosystem in monumental ways. It also is an extreme opportunity for the application of bio fab, bio produciton, gene drive, and more.
The platform I have designed to hack this challenge will incorporate the expertise of each of each of the synthetic biologists who made up our HTGAA semester, to lead dialogue and guide biosynthetic solutions on an advanced, heuristic level. The forum would take form similar to OPENIDEO’s platform which has actionably produced design solutions addressing everything from Amnesty International’s phone apps for political prisoners to USAID’s equipment for health workers of the 2015 Ebola outbreak. Enclosed is the complete How-To to activate the Jelly Program.
A year ago, I can across this article:
HOLY COW! What!? Yes, several TONS of jellyfish from 'blooms' as dense as 100 organisms per sq meter clogged seawater coolant pumps of a Swedish nuclear power plant, rendering the turbines completely useless. In the shutdown, it eliminated 10% of Sweden's total electricity generation for 3 days. There are similar reports, in Japan, Israel, and Scotland, and in the past 5 years the industry is beginning to sense a growing trend.
Digging deeper, I smelled a fascinating biological problem adrift. Jellyfish are tagged in marine ecology as energy 'black-holes'; they consume nearly everything in food webs and turn it into gelatanous biomass, inedible even by most bacteria. 
Thus, we have on our hands a profusion of unusable biological product flooding our oceans, and even directly impedeing our own man-made energy generations. All on a scale that we can’t seem to do anything about.
Let’s step back. Ahem...State of the Globe Address: Many natural resources that we currently depend on are quickly being depleted. As the human population grows and becomes more well-off, demand for our current forms of energy, material, sustenance ---fossil fuel, plastics, livestock--- will only become more stressed.
The engineer voice inside you should demand to know, why are we making ourselves dependent on resources that we know will not be available in 50 years, when R+D of the world could be using this time to develop ways to use a bioresource that we specifically know there WILL be a duanting surplus of in that time.
Human cognitive biases #246: We are horrible at perceiving future value or incentives.
Jellyfish are on a positive feedback loop for complete ocean takeover. They and algae are opportunistic invaders - some of the only beneficiaries to current environmental trends. With each fraction of a degree the ocean temp rises, jellyfish population grow exponentially – they out-compete and consume small fish that make up the foundation of the larger fish food chain. With no natural predictors, jellyfish can survive and multiply into this void. The network of algae and microbes which jellyfish waste supports is a major contributor to hypoxic dead zones in the ocean.
The UN has recognized marine biologists’ forecast that the delicately balanced marine ecosystem may soon to revert to a primordial soup dominated by microbes, toxic algal blooms, jellyfish and disease. Renowned biologist Jeremy Jackson PhD, of Scripps Institution of Oceanography describes it as "The rise of slime…. pushing the oceans back to the dawn of evolution, a half-billion years ago." [3 - TEDtalk]
Why do we care? Oceans are connected. This trend is altering biodiversity, species composition, fishing industries and the entire food web. For starters, over one billion people around the world depend on food from the ocean as their primary source of protein. In the economy, it makes up $31 Trillion UDS. With 90% of the large fish population alreeady vanished, we stand at 100 years before jellyfish are the only wild 'seafood' left. 
This last photo is photoshopped..there are no jellyfish this big. But the collective mass of jellfish blooms are equally threatening; this depicts the size of the problem to help with your cognative biases :) Thank you artists.
Is it possible to simultaneously (1) curb the invasive growth of jellyfish, and (2) to invent a viable use for them as an alternative energy, resource or consumable?
It's not too wily of an idea... Take this: In 2014, Cine’al Ltd., an Israeli nanotechnology start-up inspired by research conducted at Tel Aviv University, is developing a line of super-absorbing products made from jellyfish. Specifically, Hydromash - Jellyfish Diapers, Tampons and Paper Towels. Completely biodegradable in 30 days, this material has the potential to simotaneously battle the 3.4 M tons of diapers per year in US landfills alone and help fight back against the ocean invaders.
There's even grander ideas like this to be found by us. Bio-fuels, Water Desalination, Propulsion or even biodegradable food packaging- by understanding more about these 98% water slime bags, which are actually a trove of intriguing/alien natural design components (complex toxin chemical make-up, the fastest sting reaction mechanism on earth, GFP!!!, asexual cleaving and maybe the ability to live forever???)
How might we create a jellyfish application that :
We’re in no position to just pontificate about this. We’re a community DIY Bio Lab, after all. So step 1, everyone involved will have jellyfish to compliment the synbio hardware suite we are building and amassing. Luckily, jellysih have survived for Millions of years, they are easy to culture.
From the world elite jelly fish research, the jelly fish stick:
“Jellyfish catchers are highly personal devices. Athough simple, the design varies considerably by owner in how to attach a cup to a stick. Neatness doesn't count - they all work. Poles can be as long as are easily manageable: most adults use a four to five foot long pole.”
How to build a jelly fish tank:
Building a jellyfish tank requires two main concepts. (1) A direct filter will suck up jellyfish and blend them (remember the nuclear power plants? Or Finding Nemo..), thus you must build a 'difuser' and mesh net to minimize the filter's pull. (2) Curved edges parrallel to filter flow, to create a smooth laminar current in a circular patttern. This design also uses a 'slump', i.e. secondary bucket, to pump water to be regulated.
Instruction Links: [Kreisel Tank Design] - [DIY Jellyfish Tank] - [MAKE:Project]
How to culture jelly fish polyps:
Jellyfish have a spectacular lifecycle, in which they go through sexual reproduction as well as asexual cleavage. The jellyfish we are accustom to is merely the 'fruit'-clones of its' polyp-self fixed to the ocean floor.
Instruction Links: [Breeding Moon Jellyfish] - Use an 8' culture plate and a magnetic stir bar.
Possible high-tech marine partners:
Hydroswarm. Underwater smart drones for ocean exploration and maritime big data, suitable for mapping large areas of the ocean because they are scalable and adaptable. By MIT PHD student Sampriti Bhattacharyya, MIT $100K Finalist and Mass Challenge Gold Winner.
We beckon all jellyfish-aficionados, as well as the ~jellycurious~~ to join in discussing and eventually tinkering with applications of Jellyfish, or any of their parts/derivatives. Diversity of our group is going to be our greatest strength; ChemEs, EnviSci, recreational scuba divers, artists, philosophers, and the like – in order to consider just about every aspect of the jellyfish at every scale.
The participants and lecturers of HTGGA would make a remarkable Bioengineering A-team!!
With a familiarity of our organism of interest, I have drafted four very different entries from which we can start our exploration. Each ‘starter’ contains a relevant jelly publication from the last decade as fodder for envisioned outcomes worthy of a world 50 years from today.
Ready, Set, GO!
Thanks a lot to the writings of: Mills, C.E. 1999-present. Bioluminescence of Aequorea, a hydromedusa. Electronic internet document available at http://faculty.washington.edu/cemills/Aequorea.html. Published by the author, to date 2009.