Thanks to Joanna Scott, we've been taking advantage of our invitation to contribute to the Nature island on Second Life. Beth made a copy of the Open Notebook Science building and created a cemetery filled with blue obelisks so that multiple students can take organic chemistry quizzes at the same time. I'll be testing that shortly in my class to see how many students can comfortably compete in a virtual race.
Today I met Andrew Lang (Hiro Sheridan on SL) who has built a molecule rezzer on Nature Island. He has a nice little area where he displays some molecules (like cholesterol) and gives information about them on a screen. Andrew's rezzer takes hin (Hyperchem) files as input and I gave him one of ours to render after converting from sdf using OpenBabel.
I think that being able to walk around a molecule can add valuable new insight to thinking about and doing chemistry. It should also make it easier to explain some ideas. In about a month we'll be looking at chirality in my class and I can see how this could be really useful.
The molecule that I chose was predicted by Sean to dock into enoyl reductase (molecule 4 in D-EXP005). If possible it would be nice to show how it docks in Second Life. Andrew's rezzer is limited to about 80 atoms so we'll have to see if we can show enough of the docking site on the protein to see clearly.
Come on over to the Nature Island and let me know what you think! (slurl)