Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands: Scripps Research Scientists Describe New Way of Interacting with the Unseen World of Proteins and DNA.
A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has developed a new way of looking at and interacting with molecules so small that they cannot be seen even with the world’s most powerful microscopes.
The new technology, which combines hand-held objects with sophisticated computer displays, is called Tangible Interfaces for Structural Molecular Biology, and its creators envision it as a technology useful for both educational and scientific research.
They are combining 3D-printing of the molecules with computational chemistry to do things chemists (and engineers) have dreamed of for years. They get the fun of manipulating a physical object with the computational power to back them up and tell them when they are trying to move the object in a way it doesn't like. I suppose the next step in this work is to add direct force feedback, instead of displaying it graphically.
[via ACM TechNews]