FEIT Research Project Database

AI solving the mysteries in the microbial world

Project Leader: Saman Halgamuge
Collaborators: Sen-Lin Tang (Academia Sinica Taiwan), Bill Chang (Your Gene Bioinformatics), Arthur Hsu (Walter Eliza Hall Institute)
Sponsors: Australian Research Council
Primary Contact: Saman Halgamuge (saman@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: artificial intelligence; bioinformatics; genomics; machine learning; metagenomics
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering
Domains: Convergence of engineering and IT with the life sciences

Recent studies of microorganisms and microbial communities (groups of various microbial populations) have revealed links to human physiology and health; to novel enzymes for biotechnology processes; and to the remediation of pollutants and waste products. However, current knowledge of microorganisms is limited to less than 1% of extant microbial diversity, due to the inability to culture the majority of microbes under laboratory conditions. With recent advances in DNA sequencing, it has become increasingly feasible to sequence the collective DNA of an entire community of microbial genomes. Metagenomics allows questions to be asked about the overall functionality of a microbial community, and in particular, allows access to novel microorganisms that cannot be obtained in pure culture.

The project will explore a broad range of applications, but will focus primarily on uncultured microbial and viral communities associated with human physiology and health.

Problem of Species Seperation
Problem of Species Seperation