Virtual reality allows the scientific communication industry to both explore and explain complex topics like never before. From  educating patients through hands-on, interactive simulations to giving researchers the power to bring microscopic worlds to life, virtual reality allows us to present a range of scientific complexities using a hyper-detailed level of clarity many would have imagined impossible just a few decades ago. The following VR projects by artists David Bolinsky, AXS Studio, Hybrid Medical, 3D Schultz Animation, and Sliced Bread Animation showcase a few examples of how virtual reality can be used to transform scientific communication projects into participatory experiences.

‘Into the Cell’ by David Bolinsky

Created using a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this navigable 3D model of a neuron was designed by medical illustrator David Bolinsky in collaboration with Smart Sparrow and Arizona State University. The project was then used for an interactive community college science course on cell biology based on the biology course ‘Bio Beyond’ — where the model was also set up to be explored on an HTC Vibe VR system.

*Guardians of the Genome* by AXS Studio

Guardians of the Genome is a multi-player, virtual reality (VR) science game designed by AXS Studio to teach players about accurate DNA structure through collaborative, hands-on experiences. Equipped with special tools emulating DNA repair enzymes, players are tasked with fixing common mistakes in DNA called base-pairing errors. Experienced solo or in cooperation with friends, Guardians is a fun and immersive way to learn about this fundamental molecule of life.

Inside the GI Tact by Hybrid Medical

Created by Hybrid Medical for an immersive tour of the gastrointestinal tract called “Inside Inflammation,” this 360° view leads viewers on an interactive journey through the GI tract — where they begin by displaying the gastrointestinal tract in its normal condition and eventually fade into a state of severe inflammation. Along the way, they also  identify some symptoms and complications.

Human Skull by 3D Schultz Illustration

Designed for Medtronic, 3D Schultz Animation created and optimized this human skull for a VR mastoidectomy application in the HoloLens.

Diabetes Voyager by Sliced Bread Animation

This virtual reality game by Sliced Bread Animati0n was designed to promote the learning and understanding of diabetes.