3d virtual reality and bacterial colonies

In March I had an unforgettable experience thanks to Kevin Hallock from Pfizer. He let me into CAVE – a 3d virtual reality room that Pfizer has recently installed at its R&D centre in Cambridge, MA. Here is a link showing how more-or-less it works


but no images/videos can fully convey how I felt rotating a 3d-reconstructed human brain, zooming in and out, walking around (and through) it, and almost colliding with a wall – it was very realistic, much better than I thought it would be.

So I asked Kevin if he could render for me one of the 3d bacterial colonies which Diarmuid had imaged using a confocal microscope some time earlier (examples here). Kevin was so kind to do it, and the results were certainly very instructive.

Below you can see me inside CAVE looking at/manipulating a 3d image of the bacterial colony. The green blob is the colony – it does not really impress because it looks nice only from my perspective and only through the special 3d glasses.  You have to believe me that the colony was floating in mid-air in front of me.IMG_0722_viscube.JPG


One thought on “3d virtual reality and bacterial colonies

  1. Rachel

    This kind of technology makes me think of movies with cool tech in it, but it is very much a reality. I can imagine that it would be helpful in the medical field, taking this giant brain as an example. Doctors could use this to diagnose patients, practice surgery, and more. Exciting stuff, thanks for sharing!


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