What is the Biodome?

Imagine: A tropical forest, a desert, a grassland and beautiful insects and other live exotic and giant insects and other invertebrates from all of the world – STEM science education facility and a state of the art Biotechnology institute all under one roof!
Conceptual Schematic of ISI’s future biodome

An immersive experience learning about science and invertebrates in person in real-time. “Edutainment” / “Jurassic Park” of bugs!

At the ISI Biotech Biodome, you will experience science, technology biology and the natural world and learn how invertebrates really run the show when it comes to life on earth! You’ll see hundreds of species of invertebrates, plants and other organisms as well as interact with real scientists doing real cutting edge work on drug discovery, genomics and many areas of biological science.

Eden Project, Cornwall, England
Singapore/Singapore – Cloud Forest
Singapore, Changi/Singapore

We will also feature a Tropical Fruit Forest so people can learn about and experience the tropical fruits LIVE as they grown in nature that they’ve only seen in stores, or have never seen at all!

What is the Biodome?

The key, the core, the crown jewel of ISI will be the world’s largest biodome and biotech facility. This will be the tool that will allow us to ultimately fulfill our mission. The ISI Biotech Biodome will truly be where the magic happens!
Biodôme Renewal – Montréal Space for Life

What will the biodome be used for?

The ISI Biotech Biodome will be both functional and fashionable.  This facility will have it all: tropical forests, deserts, grasslands, thousands of giant live exotic insects and other invertebrates, a butterfly vivarium and cutting edge biomedical style research labs!

This facility will be utilized for all of ISI’s mission driven research, education, outreach, conservation and entertainment driven programming.  The dome area itself will house plants, invertebrate animals and habitats from all over the world for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of visitors. This transparent structure will be where folks can come and not only experience breathtaking biodiversity and relaxing atmosphere, but also see real world scientists conducting real world field experiments.

Additionally, the facility will be home to our cutting edge invertebrate focused biotechnology and conservation institute.  There, ISI and our partners will conduct ground breaking research in invertebrate biology, biochemistry, genome sequencing, insect chemistry, bioprospecting and drug discovery research.  We will also be conducting work in invertebrate and natural habitat conservation and breeding endangered and threatened invertebrate species from all over the world to help restore their populations and habitats.  At the ISI Biotech Biodome, we will bring our research to the world through regular presentations by our staff scientists and experts from ISI and other institutions.  The facility will also host educational and nature themed entertainment events by ISI and other similar organizations.

Of course the ISI Biotech Biodome will also be home to ISI’s big annual “Bugfest”! This event will bring together other organizations, vendors, artists, performers and other fans of invertebrates, science and nature.  There will be a host of activities, research talks, entertaining presentations on various science topics and demonstrations for holding LIVE giant invertebrates from all over the world!  ISI’s bug fest will also host food trucks, food vendors, our world class invertebrate themed gift shop and “Insects as Sustainable Food Ingredients” cooking demonstrations and insect based food!

The ISI Biotech Biodome will also be available to host scientific and nature themed conferences, trade shows, concerts and other events consistent with ISI’s mission.

The biodome itself will also be ideally suited to conduct plant and invertebrate field studies with much better efficiency, better precision and lower cost than having to travel to remote areas with the environmental conditions we will provide.  Visitors of the biodome will be able to see scientists conducting real world research as it would be done in say a jungle or remote desert habitat.

These facilities will not only be utilized by ISI scientists and educators, but will be made available for other researchers and organizations to rent for their work and related events. These facilities will be unique in the world and world-class, so our institute will attract similar organizations from around the world to work with and support us.  It will also attract economic development in the form of hotels, restaurants and other entertainment related businesses who will want to benefit from the large flow of visitors and researchers at ISI’s Biotech Biodome.

As the ultimate mission of our institute is to inspire CONSERVATION of the natural world through invertebrate focused research, educational, outreach and entertainment activities:  Our biotech biodome facility will also be utilized to house and breed rare, threatened and endangered invertebrates and plants from around the world to help understand their biology, their environmental needs and even to breed larger numbers for re-introduction into their restored natural habitats.

The ISI  Biotech Biodome will also be an ideal environment for shooting movies and various nature documentaries.

The ISI Biodome will also have a world-class gift shop offering the world’s largest stock of invertebrate themed merchandise:  invertebrate specimens (properly labeled!), invertebrate FOSSILS!, insect and invertebrate themed jewelry and Art! , Entomology books, Nature books, Science books, educational materials and starter entomology and insect collecting and rearing kits and cages for all ages!

The Structure:

Eden Project, Cornwall, England

The biodome will be a 15 acre transparent dome with several separate internal sections, each containing the proper humidity, sunlight, soil and temperature cycling conditions to mimic various natural habitats.  This will include several different climate controlled habitats to mimic environmental conditions for everything from deserts to rainforests to cold and temperate forests. Scattered throughout will be various cages and displays containing live invertebrates from all over the world native to those habitats.  The habitats will be populated by plants and various invertebrates as well as other creatures such as frogs and reptiles who typically make those respective habitats their home in the wild.

On the back of the biodome will be an indoor set of additional live invertebrate displays as well as educational displays, thousands of dried natural history invertebrate specimens, a main lobby and central courtyard and a gift shop.

Behind the scenes, on the back of the indoor display areas, will be our cutting edge biotechnology research institute.  This facility will contain our laboratories, genomics and chemistry cores, cold storage for genome specimens and thousands of square feet walk-in incubators for housing hundreds of species of invertebrates for research, conservation and educational projects as well as breeding the animals for display in the biodome.

Biodome Research Facilities:

ISI’s Biodome labs will be world-class biomedical style research facilities containing the latest state of the art equipment and amenities for invertebrate rearing, genome sequencing, analytical chemistry, drug discovery, chemical ecology and other invertebrate derived research endeavors.  The rearing facilities will include thousands of square feet of these which can each be set to ideal rearing conditions for any invertebrate species. The combination of the biodome, rearing facilities and cutting edge genomics, chemistry and drug discovery capabilities, ISI’s Biodome labs will have substantial capabilities available no where else on earth under one roof.  These facilities being all at one location will enable research which could not be done between organizations at different locations, and we will be able to do it better.  We will be able to conduct real-time extractions of DNA and biomolecules from organisms we are rearing.  We will be able to educate the public about our research directly through our public outreach programming at the biodome.  Rearing our own research organisms (and hundreds of species at a time!) will allow us to not only more deeply study their biochemistry, but if we discover valuable compounds, we can re-sample the organisms to obtain more.  This is often not possible for field bioprospecting studies.

These facilities will not only be utilized by ISI for it’s research and programming.  The biodome itself will be a tourist attraction open to the public.  Also, ISI will offer it’s facilities to rent or for use by partners, collaborators, and sponsors.  Other researchers will be able to rent our one of a kind invertebrate rearing facilities for invertebrate focused research.  Biotechnology company startups and others will be able to rent labs within our facility as well.  Our genomics, chemistry and other facilities will offer fee based serviced to outside researchers.

Some of the amenities our research facilities will contain include:

1) The Genomics Core (Illumina, PacBio and Nanopore sequencers for various projects, PCR, qPCR, -80 freezers and liquid nitrogen dewars for storing genome quality specimens, backup/emergency power (generators/maybe natural gas ones), autoclaves, etc., and

2) The Chemistry Core. (LC-MS, GC-MS, fume hoods, and a chemistry synthesis section – eventually NMR with cryogenic probes and 600 Mhz for optimum sensitivity for natural products drug discovery studies)

3) The Growing Spaces: (thousands of square feet of walk-in environmental control chambers with humidity and temperature controls, deionized water supply for all labs, Autoclaves, walk-in freezers and cold rooms, large cage washing room, etc.)

Invertebrate Studies Institute’s mission is to inspire appreciation for and conservation of the natural world through invertebrate focused research, education, outreach, entertainment activities.

Invertebrate Studies Institute, Inc. (ISI) is a non-profit 501c3 organization.

Our Offices

Invertebrate Studies Institute, Inc.

University Research Park
755 Research Parkway, Suite 552
Oklahoma City, OK 73130
Phone: 352-281-3643
Email: support@isibugs.org

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ISI inspires appreciation for science, invertebrates and the natural world.

755 Research Parkway, Oklahoma City, OK 73104