THE GALLERY - Technology
Page currently under construction!
The technology used to mount and run this course, and the previous interactive
course in C++, is a very important development in the use of Internet-related
software for distance education.
Students use a technology called
Chemical MIME (Multimedia Internet Mail Enclosures) to "fire up" molecular
visualisation programs automatically every time they select a file containing
molecular coordinates. Once this is set up, the students can manipulate molecules
on the screen while reading the associated course material.
Students are encouraged to set this software up for themselves, but plenty of
help is available.
- Protein Data Bank (PDB) files are displayed using
- Kinetic protein images ("kinemages") are displayed using
Not even an expert can expect to have detailed knowledge of more than the smallest
part of modern molecular biology. The use of databases is becoming increasingly
important for all researchers in the bio-sciences. Students on this course
rapidly become expert in searching on-line databases.
A few important databases are listed here. Where a link to software for
searching a database is not shown, it is possible to search the database from
the Web link to the database itself.
Databases of Protein Structure
Databases of Gene and Protein Sequence and Function
Ethan Benatan and Cornelius Krasel maintain a comprehensive page of
links to protein-structure related databases.
Seven main email discussion
lists have been set up to enable students, consulting-students and
consultants on the course to communicate with each other.
Some archived previous postings
are kept available on the Web.
MUDs and MOOs was originally developed for multi-user, interactive
Internet-based role-playing games - hence the original meaning of the acronym MUD -
"Multi-User Dungeon". A MUD is a "virtual meeting place" which contains people
who move through "rooms" and interact with the "objects" they find there -
and with each other - rather like they would in real life (!) A MOO ("MUD -
Object Oriented") is a MUD which contains a sophisticated, object-based inbuilt
The potential for
using this technology in distance education is now being realised.
was set up in 1994 by
Glusman as a "virtual meeting place" for bioscientists. Members of the
PPS course hold "meetings" and even "parties" in the BioMOO, and some groups
have "built" their own "rooms" within the MOO environment.
A graphical interface
to BioMOO is available.
This is an example image of a screen captured during a graphical BioMOO
Link to the
Technology Page of the VSNS-PPS Course
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