PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Virtual reality drug design. Composite image of a biochemist using a virtual reality (VR) system to design new drugs. The drug and its target molecules are represented by dot and line diagrams. This system allows chemists not only to see in 3-D how two molecules interact but also to feel the reaction through a force-feedback robot arm. The arm lets the chemist rotate the drug molecule to find the best fit with the target protein. The computer calculates electrostatic forces associated with the hypothetical reaction and feeds this information back to the robot arm, producing resistance if the reaction sites fail to engage strongly.
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