What is the meaning of the word "visualization"? Rudolf Arnheim, Harvard University Professor, researched and wrote books about visualization and the role of visualization in guiding human thought. Short of reading these books, here is a nice, simple visuallization example: I am sitting atop a red blood cell, with a mock malaria parasite inside of it. Hemoglobin, the major protein inside the red blood cell, has a strong, red color. Through time, the malaria parasite feeds on the hemoglobin, so the hemoglobin disappears from the cell. In this visualization, the parasite is not growing, is not moving and is not reproducing. Only the hemoglobin is disappearing from the red blood cells. The top frame has less hemo than the bottom...hence I call it a reversed time sequence, because time is flowing from bottom to top frames). My avatar is about 2 microns tall, relative to the actual size of the red blood cell.
This is a very simple visualization, all done within SL. It took me less than five minutes to make this. Visualization is easier to some and harder to others, but SL is very easy, simple and fast when it comes to visuallzation work. There are no 1CellPk scripts controlling this visualization..just me manually changing the colors. So, it is just a simple illustration of visualization, meant for my graduate students to begin to understand how to use SL for 1CellPK visualizaiton purposes. In the future, I would be looking forward to my graduate students experimenting with visualizing changes occurring within the parasite inside the red blood cell. I would like to be able tosee us "treat" the red blood cell with drug (chloroquine, falcipain-2 inhibitors, etc) and visualize what happens to the drug as it distributes inside the red blood cell and then inside the parasite, and then see what it would happen inside the parasite as it is affected by the drug. Eventually, drug distributions should be controlled by mathematical models. We should be able to make simulations (5-D movies) of drugs with different chemical properties as they distribute inside the parasite. Then, we should be able to sort and analyze the dynamics observed in the movies based on drug's chemical structures. That is, Cheminformatic Assisted Image Arrays. The 5-D movies would be comprised of x,y,z spatial coordinates, signal and time. Linking the movies to chemical structures would make it 6D. Each chemical structure can be described as a multidimensional object, so in fact, a CAIA can have many, many dimensions.