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Abstract Detail

Education & Outreach

Bassham, Diane [1], Brown, Trevor [1], Brown, Tyler [2], Dickerson, Julie [3], Herrnstadt, Steve [4], Kabala, David [3], Miller, Elizabeth [4], Syrkin-Nikolau, Mashette [5], Vue, Gaoder [4], Wurtele, Eve [6].

Meta!Blast: development of a video game of cell and metabolic biology.

In Meta!Blast, (http://metnet.vrac.iastate.edu/MetNet_Meta!Blast.htm) high school and beginning undergraduate students manipulate metabolic and cell biology while navigating within the virtual 3-dimensional environment of a photosynthetic eukaryotic cell. Meta!Blast players will be able to control cellular function in a highly accurate virtual cell, while saving our earth at the same time. Using and expanding on the open-source software VRJuggler (http://www.vrjuggler.org/), we are creating a cellular world, which allows for three-dimensional viewing in platforms ranging from an immersive high-resolution virtual environment to a desktop computer. Cell structures are based on tomographic images, protein structures are imported from a pipeline to Meta!Blast is designed to teach key aspects of 21st century biology. Undergraduates in computer science, biology, music, art, design, environmental science, as well as six high school students, have contributed vital pieces to the development of this game. To attain the highest level of the game, the player will need to understand concepts of cellullar energetics, (photosynthesis, respiration, catabolism and anabolism), gene expression, evolution, genetic engineering, and aspects of cellular response to abiotic and biotic stresses (autophagy, cell wall modification, phytoalexin synthesis). Here, we highlight our player Anna, high power plant biologist Dr. Clara Phyllton, and our first module, photosynthesis.

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Related Links:
contents of Meta!Blast, and the process by which it is being created.
open source software for creation of virtual reality environments that can be translated to multiple platforms

1 - Iowa State University, Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology
2 - Iowa State University, Music
3 - Iowa State University, Computer and Electrical Engineering
4 - Iowa State University, Design
5 - Ames High School
6 - Iowa State University, Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, and Virtual Reality Applications Center, 441 Bessey Hall, Ames, IA, 50011, United States

plant cell biology
metabolic biology
gene regulation
virtual reality.

Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P46007
Abstract ID:399

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