Cal Academy Matrix Demo

On May 26, 2016

SURPAS Teaching & Outreach committee with postdocs Lorraine Ling, Saumyaa Saumyaa, Fatima Pardo Avila, João Rodrigues, Nicholas Corsepius and Frédéric Poitevin volunteered at Nightlife @ Cal Academy for the theme of 1990’s Movies.

Dr. Rodrigues and Dr. Pardo Avila, from Department of Structural Biology, chose the movie Matrix as a way to introduce the visitors into the use of virtual reality to explore the structure of biomolecules. The virtual reality set allowed for a level of interaction like no other, since the visitors could touch and even walk into the biomolecules.

The demo gave the visitors a chance to understand the atomic structure of biomolecules such as hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a basic component of blood responsible for the transport of oxygen.  In the demo, the visitors could compare between structures of hemoglobin with and without oxygen, which allowed them to understand how this protein can perform its function.