The protein group in the department of chemistry at York University has been working for the past year on a virtual reality pilot project for modelling the molecular structure of drugs.
Rod Hubbard, the project leader, says that the work is essential for fuller understanding of the complex structures involved and to take the design of drugs further.
The project uses a helmet which contains two colour LCD displays. The molecule is presented in colour and stereo vision with the position and orientation of the helmet tracked by sensors, simulating a three-dimensional image of the molecule. Mice held in both hands move the viewer in virtual space and can be used to pick up and manipulate the molecule.