Better Chemistry through Virtual Reality

Sci arrived early to ScienceOnline, and got for the first time to go on one of the lab tours. This time she got to go into the Duke immersive virtual environment (DiVE). This is a completely awesome interactive experience where you put on 3-D glassers, step into a virtual reality room that looks JUST like the virtual reality deck on Star Trek, and in you go! You fly into the body along with ALCOHOL, the ethanol molecules, and run through the stomach, small intestine, and into the blood, and thence to the liver, where you look in detail at an alcohol dehydrogenase, learning the chemical reactions that turn alcohol into acetaldehyde. You can actually control the chemicals, fitting them together in the precisely right way to loosen and release the protons and electrons.
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It was so fun! However, Ed complained of my backseat metabolizing. He wouldn’t have had such a problem if he’d just moved that molecule to the RIGHT!!!!

2 Responses

  1. Hate to ask a snarky question, but:
    According to Wikipedia, this toy was funded by a $250K grant from NIH, an organization that was founded to cure human disease but has been misappropriated to support instead the life styles of its putative researchers.
    For that sum, NIDA could fund a definitive study to prove that the PURSOR protocol that combines dopamine and serotonin precursors in a logical fashion could stop addictive craving in its tracks.
    But were we to find an answer to this or other basic unsolved medical problems, the crucial questions would remain.
    1. Who is going to support out of work experts?
    2. How can PHARMA make money from this treatment especially since they will find that the same treatment stops affective mood disorders.
    Yes, there is a simple way to resolve depression in minutes. WTF, who cares?
    Plato posed the question: Qui custodiet custodes?
    We still can not answer that question.
    Please do not send ad hominem responses.

  2. Well, regardless of where funding came from, that sounds totally wicked cool! Great place for a cocktail party!

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