First-year student Hamish Todd on working with the Protein Data Bank

First-year student Hamish Todd (U o Edinburgh) has been working with the Protein Data Bank to integrate his virtual reality program onto their website: that way he will be enabling people to look at any protein they like in VR!

Proteins and nucleic acids are complex three-dimensional structures. In order to learn, research, or speak about them, we are often required to internally “picture” them - and if we are interested in docking, substrate binding, or point mutations, our ability to picture them will be sorely tested.

In collaboration with the protein data bank, he intends to use virtual reality technology to improve the way that biomolecules are illustrated. If you can find your protein of interest on the protein data bank, he intends that the user will simply have to click one button to be taken to a VR representation of it, which may be twisted arbitrarily and docked to other proteins. By allowing multiple people to view a person interacting with a protein in a single environment, the vision is to bring something very new to biology teaching.

Here's a visualisation on it.