1. Firegold21's Avatar
    This article from Nature discusses how, among other things, virtual reality is being used to get a better understanding of cancer cells, how various cells in the body act when not in isolation, etc. A fairly short but interesting read.

    The first time molecular biologist Greg Hannon flew through a tumour, he was astonished — and inspired. Using a virtual-reality model, Hannon and his colleagues at the University of Cambridge, UK, flew in and out of blood vessels, took stock of infiltrating immune cells and hatched an idea for an unprecedented tumour atlas.

    “Holy crap!” he recalls thinking. “This is going to be just amazing.”
    Over the past few years, researchers have flocked to techniques that allow them to sequence the full complement of RNAs — tens of thousands of them — in individual cells. These RNAs can reveal which genes are expressed, and provide clues as to a cell’s unique function within an organ or tumour.

    But sequencing methods typically require that the cells first be plucked from the tissue in which they live. That destroys valuable information about where the cells were and what neighbours they interacted with — information that could hold new clues to a cell’s function and how it can go awry in diseased tissue.

    “There is a lot of excitement and promise with single-cell sequencing technologies,” says Nicola Crosetto, a molecular biologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “But when we think of cancer and complex physiological tissues, we need to be able to put that information into spatial context.”
    What are your thoughts?
    02-21-2017 06:20 AM
  2. Russell Holly's Avatar
    AT&T did a VR Developer Summit in Vegas earlier this year, and one of the submissions was this VR app for visualizing cellular processes from the perspective of a microscopic organism. These kind of visualization tools may not be overly helpful to experts in the field, but I think it makes explaining and storytelling around these topics much easier to digest.

    Very eager to see how this continues to grow and change.
    02-21-2017 09:09 AM
  3. Firegold21's Avatar
    I'm of a similar opinion. Definitely beneficial for learning and explaining cellular processes, but I also think it's potentially useful for visualizing and testing out new ideas, etc. Akin to the protein-folding distributed computing project, where people figure out the optimal ways for proteins to fold by actually interacting with graphics on their screens. Sometimes, as the article I linked to mentions, it's helpful to view things in context.

    And given that we humans are largely visual creatures, being able to immersively visualize cellular processes can definitely lead to new insights. I think it makes it easier to grasp, even for experts. At the very least, it gives a fresh perspective.
    02-21-2017 04:07 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-17-2017, 09:27 PM
  2. Addicted to The Unspoken
    By Russell Holly in forum General VR Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-09-2017, 01:40 PM
  3. IMAX enters the VR world with LA-based VR theater
    By Chemy JMHT in forum VR News & Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-22-2017, 07:22 AM
  4. HTC Mobile VR headset is on the way!
    By iThunderbirt in forum VR News & Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-17-2017, 08:11 PM

Tags for this Thread