Over the past decade, 3D printing has become a tool by which we can visualize biological complexes from the microscopic world face-to-face. Using these enlarged 3D models we facilitate a better exploration and hence an enhanced understanding of everything not visible to the naked eye such as single amino acids, protein domains to macromolecular machines and our focus this year, viruses.
Based on a number of interactive modules and lectures, educators were exposed to various aspects of this exciting and rapidly growing educational and research tool. Dr. Eric May introduced concepts of virus structural organization and used molecular visualization and 3D printing to provide a hands-on interaction with these structures. Kunica Asija focused on the contribution of protein-protein interactions in viral assembly. Dr. Victoria Robinson took participants through a tour of the system and the software. Finally, participants spent a day with two 3D printers and printed their own bacteriophage!