FoldSynth: A physics-based interactive visualisation platform for proteins and other molecular strands

FoldSynth is an interactive multimedia platform designed to help understand the characteristics and commonly used visual abstractions of molecular strands with an emphasis on proteins. It uses a simple model of molecular forces to give real time interactive animations of the folding and docking processes. The shape of a molecular strand is shown as a 3D visualisation floating above a 2D triangular matrix representing distance constraints, contact maps or other features of residue pairs. As well as more conventional raster plots, contact maps can be shown with vectors representing the grouping of contacts as secondary structures. The 2D visualisation is also interactive and can be used to manipulate a molecule, define constraints, control and view the folding dynamically, or even design new molecules.

Frederic will also introduce a related recent (on-going) project: BioBlox, a gamification of 3D protein docking. This is a BBSRC funded project which involves the team of Frederic at Goldsmiths (with Stephen, Peter Todd, William Latham, Andy Thomason, Ian Shaw) and the team of Michael Sternberg at Imperial (with Lawrence Kelley, Ioannis Filippis); FoldSynth also emerged from a collaboration with the team at Imperial. Stephen will cover some of the technical aspects of the FoldSynth platform and the recent application to DNA data (in discussions with the team of Stephen Taylor at Oxford).

Keywords: Interaction, multimedia, proteins, DNA, folding, 2D/3D, scientific visualisation, molecular design, physically based modelling.
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