The Scientific Use of Animation

Molecular Biologists and researchers are still living in the days of textbook drawings to engage in how a cellular process occurs.

meiosis_diagramThese two dimensional drawings show how little of what a molecular object can do. Janet Iwasa, a molecular biologist, knows this all too well. She sees these drawings as vast simplifications of these complex systems as she describes in her TED talk.

This is where animation kicks in. Using such software as say Cinema 4D allows a biologist to create a three-dimensional structure of the whole system they are trying to convey and can even move them around. c444d
By seeing the whole cell, molecular vessel or whatever it may be can help a biologist create new hypothesizes on how it works. There is a deeper knowledge when that biologist or researcher is able to start moving that object around.

Most scientists, however, relentlessly revert themselves back to the simple two-dimensional drawings. They simply do not have the time to go through the courses to learn how to make these animated structures come alive. The pay offs would be astronomical, brooding audiences with extreme accuracy. These animations can help for what these molecular objects really look like, how they function and what can be done to keep these structures working.

Due to the lack of time, a new software has been installed specifically for biologists to create molecular animations. Biologists, animators and programmers integrated together to work on Molecular Flipbook. For a mfbbiologist that has never touched this kind of software it has been estimated that they will start making their own animations within fifteen minutes. This is huge in the ability that one sees these structures. Biologists are learning new ways to explore data and can now engage with their students in more profound methods. Only time will tell where animation will be able to lead biologists and the hypothesizes they will come up with.

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