We know about molecules; we know about cells and organelles; but the stuff in between is messy and mysterious… yet that is the level of magnification at which much of the action takes place: the scale of perhaps a few to several hundred nanometres… it is precisely here that our understanding remains the most patchy.
– Philip Ball, from the scientific journal Nature, 2003
Scientific visualization is a multi-billion dollar industry, which aims to investigate and communicate the realms that exist beyond our normal senses. In the molecular world of alien-looking shapes and bizarre physics, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks critical immune system defense cells in human blood, causing the disease AIDS. This pandemic has taken over 33,000,000 lives, with millions more added each year.
Autodesk unites with two leading research institutes to challenge you to explore this mysterious world. They will provide competitors with a cellPack model of HIV in blood serum and a powerful open source app, called autoPACK. It is up to you to convey humanity's complex relationships with this virus, be they emotional, political, or intellectual. We need your help to excite general audiences with visuals that will help us spread interest in the search for a cure.
This is your opportunity to be a pioneer on the frontier of science!
For more information, please visit: http://www.autopack.org/challenge
The cellPACK HIV model and autoPACK software are provided open-source by Art Olson's Molecular Graphics Lab at The Scripps Research Institute and by Graham Johnson's Mesoscope Lab at the University of California (qb3@UCSF). uPy interfaces for autoPACK by Ludovic Autin.