Tag Archives: virtual reality


What’s the Answer? (augmented reality in bioinformatics)

This week’s highlighted discussion turned out to be very popular. I was intrigued by the initial inquiry–but it evolved into a neat discussion of what sorts of visualizations might be interesting directions in the future.

Biostars is a site for asking, answering and discussing bioinformatics questions and issues. We are members of the Biostars_logo community and find it very useful. Often questions and answers arise at Biostars that are germane to our readers (end users of genomics resources). Thursdays we will be highlighting one of those items or discussions here in this thread. You can ask questions in this thread, or you can always join in at Biostars.

Forum: Possible augmented reality tools for bioinformatics and current problems


I was thinking about an application of augmented reality tools to help understanding bioinformatics problems. Although it may look like a useless thing to do (to have) could it actually be helpful for someone to have a tool that solve particular problems related to 3D-visualization using some augmented reality stuff?

If above statement is true could you give me some examples of such applications? I am considering all the possibilities because for me it looks like a good question to investigate.

It may be obvious from above but I would like to take similar topic for MSc thesis so all the suggestions are really welcome!

Thank you!

Peter Leontev

The protein structures part didn’t surprise me, of course. And while watching twitter this morning, this came flying over my feed:

There’s a comment over at Biostars from someone who put their ChIP-Seq data in Minecraft, and found it wasn’t particularly helpful. I loved the idea of watching cells divide, though. I was sort of surprised that nobody brought up the 3D Virtual Worm. And I added a couple of other thoughts too. It was all fun to think about, anyway. Add your thoughts if you have them. It’s nice to see a student considering future project ideas. Check out the chatter.


Virtual Science

I posted a note about virtual science a while back about virtual Galapagos island visit and I’ve had a tangential interest in Second Life and the possibilities virtual reality holds for teaching. I am not sure how well good it is for teaching the type of things we do here at OpenHelix, but the concept is intriguing (and after reading OtherLand years ago, it seems a bit like life imitating art). Sandra at her blog “Discovering Biology in a Digital World” asks about alternatives to Second Life such as Croquet. I’m pointing that out because the discussion in the comments is quite interesting and lots of information about teaching using a virtual world including this site Simteach wiki. Also, I found out that Second Life was inspired by another “cyberpunk” novel, Snow Crash.

Now, what this all has to do about teaching genomics resources? I’m not sure. But I’m keeping an eye out (and it will give me an excuse to play  in the virtual world late at night, you know, in the interest of science).

Visit the Galapagos Islands, for free

Ok, that got your attention didn’t it? It got mine. It’s not really a genomics post, it’s not really a database post, but like almost every evolutionary biologist I know (and most biologists and a lot of others), a visit to the Galapagos has been something I’ve always wanted to do. Only thing is, it’s expensive to get and stay there, and eco-tourism is having it’s not-so-great side effects. Well, the University of Cincinnati, in order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin of Species” has set up a “Second Lifetour of the Galapagos.

I’ve resisted roaming Second Life, even though Nature has a presence there as “Second Nature.” But for the Galapagos? I’ll go :). Now, I wonder if they could do a tour of the Genome in Second Life?

HT: Discovering Biology in a Digital World