During the open days of our university (November 18/19) we offered prospective students a virtual reality (VR) experience allowing them to “dive” into a protein structure in 3D. This was done using the HTC vive virtual reality headset together with UnityMol as visualisation engine. UnityMol is developed in Marc Baaden’s group at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique in Paris.
The task for the students was to explore hemoglobin, the protein transporting oxygen in our blood, and discover where the oxygen molecules are bound. They could manipulate and explore the protein, both from outside, but also by diving inside the structure and discover its crowed amino acid environment.