Are your ready for the Hadron Collider of biology? That’s what the 3D Virtual Cell project claims to be aiming at. I’ve been becoming more aware of the directions around the virtual biology projects this year, with things like the 3D Worm, the Virtual Cell, GenoCAD, and more synthetic biology. But the 3D Virtual Cell project seems to be aiming to harmonize many development threads with a different sort of focus.
According to the video with Phil Bourne describing the project, the goal is to create an environment focused on a single generic cell. That cell will let developers create series of “apps” that will model some function or process. These are called sAPP+ and you can see more about that here. So it will enable people to have their focus on an individual topic of interest, but the underlying framework will allow common aspects and interoperability in ways that lots of individual silo projects wouldn’t.
If the video embed isn’t working for you, go to the video here.
You can learn more about the project this week as their workshop live streams. The mission statement is here. The agenda is here. You can check in to watch the talks, and you can keep an eye on their conference hashtag #vcell. It looks like a nice setup of outreach and accessibility.
It appears to be the birth of this community. I looked around at the Forum and there’s no chatter yet, although the infrastructure is in place. But if you are looking to become involved in this group there appear to be a number of ways to do so. Start by watching the conference and see if you like the directions.
Follow them on twitter here: @3DVCell https://twitter.com/3DVCell
3DVCell workshop live stream on Thursday/Friday Dec 13/14: http://3dvcconf.ucsd.edu/
Freddolino, P., & Tavazoie, S. (2012). The Dawn of Virtual Cell Biology Cell, 150 (2), 248-250 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.07.001