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Biochemistry students swap lectures for 3D cinema experience

Professor Vilmos Fulop
Professor Vilmos Fülöp with 3D glasses
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Staff and students at the University of Warwick have long dreaded that point in the Warwick's biochemistry degree when lecturers have to attempt to explain the arcane and intricate three dimensional geometry of protein structures obtained by X-ray crystallography. Now this most daunting of lectures has been transformed into one of the biochemistry degree's most unusual learning experiences - something more like a 3D cinema experience.

Protein crystallography researchers have long used 3D techniques in their individual research. Computer programmers exist to depict 3D images of protein crystal structures on individual PC screens and many research papers in the field come with colour "stereo" images that can be viewed in 3D with the correct glasses. University of Warwick Biochemist Professor Vilmos Fülöp decided to see if he could use the same techniques to help undergraduates get a better grasp of this difficult topic.

Professor Fülöp applied for and won £34,520 of funding from the University of Warwick's teaching innovation fund. He used this to bring together 3D projection technology from Virtalis (a company who normally produce such equipment for helicopter simulations and oil industry installations) and specifically designed 3D software for crystallography, such as O by Professor Alwyn Jones from Uppsala University in Sweden or PyMol by Dr Warren DeLano, Palo Alto, USA. Thanks to this novel integration of technology and software he now has a lecture room that feels more like a 3D cinema. Undergraduate student will have their first experience of the new teaching technology in January. It looks set to transform one of the University's most challenging lectures into one of the most sought after learning experiences.

Professor Vilmos Fulop
Professor Vilmos Fülöp & students
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For further information please contact:

Professor Vilmos Fülöp , Biological Sciences
University of Warwick, (0)24 7657 2628

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager, Communications Office, University of Warwick,
024 76 523708 email:

PR86 PJD 7th December 2006