Virtual Exploration of Proteins

E. Mortiz (Germany) and J. Meyer (USA)


Virtual Reality, Macromolecular Structures, CAVE, Scientific Visualization


The rapid growth in publicly available macromolecular data sets has created the need for improved distribution and visual representation of biological data. Since the function of a molecule is directly related to its three-dimensional (3D) structure, techniques for inves tigating molecular structure, function and interaction are essential for microbiologists and drug designers in particular. This prototype study explores the possibilities and potentials of surround-screen projection-based virtual reality environments for interactive visualization of multiple molecular models. MolScript, a program for textbook-quality imaging, was enhanced with CAVETM -functionality to facilitate stereoscopic real-time rendering for displaying and manipulating realistic 3D structural models of macro molecular data (fig. 1). An intuitive and natural user interface was added to enable exploration and side-by-side comparison as well as superimposition of scientifically meaningful and visually appealing visualizations.

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