VRML and Biology
Braden N. McDaniel
braden at shadow.net
Wed Oct 16 14:54:27 EST 1996
(Sorry for cross-posting the buhjeezus outta this, but I wanted to make sure
it was seen. Fret not, follow-ups are directed to bionet.software and
Daniel Gembris (gembris at euler.informatik.uni-dortmund.de) writes in the
In the discussion about JAVA3D or the implementation of
interacting objects in the VRML-standard everybody
should (IMHO) pay attention to the needs of biologists.
I`m convinced that biologists will become the main user
of 3D-technology, I don`t only refer to molecular biology,
but primarily to developmental and cell biology.
JAVA3D (or however it will be called) will be an extension
to cellular automata, with the advantage of greater flexibility
and thus a greater agreement between modells of living
systems and reality. I'd suggest to go in the newsgroups
of the bionet.* hierarchy and ask the participants for participation
in the evolution process of VRML. At best you post open
questions about future definitions of VRML in these
newsgroups. (I can`t do it, because I`m not involved
deeply enough in the VRML matter).
These efforts might be very important, since they could
pave the way for simulations of whole living
beings on a cellular basis!! (The computational burden
could be distributed about a part of the internet).
And on that note, I write this. Who the hell am I? I'm an undergrad student
in my senior year at the University of Miami, with majors in Marine Science,
Biology, and Computer Science. I've been following VRML (Virtual Reality
Modeling Language) to some extent or other for some time now.
And Mr. Gembris is right on the money. With the ever-increasing need for
visualization systems in the biological sciences, it seems like VRML could
have a big future there. But while I frequently see references to
applications of VRML to mechanical engineering, physics, and related fields,
the applications related to biology are decidedly scarce.
The VRML 2.0 specification is pretty much set in stone at this point--and
it's a damn good piece of work. Content developers are only beginning to
scratch the surface of what it can do. Right now, related specifications are
being hashed out, and the software to make it all hum is being developed.
If you think this technology could have a future in what you're doing, now
is the time to learn about it and get involved. I invite you all to take a
peek in comp.lang.vrml and the VRML mailing list. Here are some relevant
http://vag.vrml.org/ the VRML Architechture Group
http://vag.vrml.org/www-vrml/ the mailing list home page
http://www.sdsc.edu/vrml/ the VRML Repository
PS: <shameless plea> I'm looking around at grad schools right now, and if
any of you know of projects going on that might benefit from the
participation of someone with my background, or someone I should talk to
(or if you *are* someone who'd like to talk to me about this), I'd
appreciate some e-mail.
Braden N. McDaniel braden at shadow.net
Home Page: http://www.shadow.net/%7Ebraden/
Home World: http://www.shadow.net/%7Ebraden/home.wrl
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