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Virtual Reality

Virtual reality tool to fight worst diseases like cancer

Researchers from LUND University (Sweden) transfigure the technique, the data is analysed by using 3D video gaming technology. This research was published in iScience journal where they have mentioned their new developed software CellexalVR. 

Science has the technology to compute the function of every gene within an individual isolated cell and one experiment can give rise to enormous numbers of cells worth of data. Modern techniques in DNA and RNA succession have unlocked the possibility of examining cells separately in tissues more conveniently. However, the main challenge with these new techniques is that they lead to extensive amounts of data. 

Shamit Soneji a researcher at LUND University says that “When you want to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells, for example, you need to examine thousands of cells to get a proper understanding, which translates into enormous amounts of numerical data”.

To make this data understandable, every cell is positioned mathematically in 3-dimensional space to build a “roadmap” of the cells, and how they link with each other. Nonetheless, it is difficult to navigate these maps with a normal desktop computer.

Another researcher from LUND University Mattias Wallergard says that “To be able to walk around your own data and manipulate it intuitively and efficiently gives it a whole new understanding. I would actually go so far as to say that one thinks differently in VR, thanks to the technique’s ability to involve your body in the analysis process”.

The LUND University team has developed the “CellexalVR ” software that helps researchers to use built-in tools to inspect all their data in one place by giving a virtual reality environment. With this software, Data like 3D maps of cells and other information about genes activities can be shown and researchers can see which genes are active or not when cells are formed. Users can see the absolute universe of cell populations in front of them by using VR headset. They can also pick cells of interest for analysis using two hand controllers.

A researcher Shamit Soneji concluded that “Even if you are not familiar with computer programming, this type of analysis is open to everyone. A virtual world is a fast developing area of research that has enormous potential for scientists that need to access and process big-data in a more interactive and collaborative way”.

Software can be downloaded at : https://www.cellexalvr.med.lu.se/

Sources :

https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/watch-virtual-reality-tool-be-used-fight-against-disease

https://www.cell.com/iscience/fulltext/S2589-0042(21)01220-7

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