Exploring genomes with a game engine
More and more evidence indicates that the 3D conformation of eukaryotic genomes is a critical part of genome function. However, due to the lack of accurate and reliable 3D genome structural data, this information is largely ignored and most of these studies have to use information systems that view the DNA in a linear structure. Visualizing genomes in real time 3D can give researchers more insight, but this is fraught with hardware limitations since each element contains vast amounts of information that cannot be processed on the fly. Using a game engine and sophisticated video game visualization techniques enables us to construct a multi-platform real-time 3D genome viewer. The game engine-based viewer achieves much better rendering speed and can handle much larger amounts of data compared to our previous implementation using OpenGL. Combining this viewer with 3D genome models from experimental data could provide unprecedented opportunities to gain insight into the conformation–function relationships of a genome.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Molecular Simulations and Visualization