The project was developed by a small team in the VizLab at UMD. Lisa Fitzpatrick, the Director of the VizLab, spearheaded the project. Eric Stykle, a Graphic Design Masters student, created the beautiful illustrations and animations. Michele Clark, a Computer Science Masters student, made the fish come alive. (link»)
Giant unilamellar vesicle (GUV) is a model system for studying different aspects of biomembrane assemblies under controlled thermodynamics of lipid mixing. In order to investigate lipid domain formation, researchers rely on fluorescent lipid analogs that are specific to lipid phase domains using confocal or two-photon microscopy. Kuravi Hewawasam (Physics, Vizlab) and Ahmed Heikal (Chemistry and Biochemistry) are developing image processing algorithm to be used for determining the order parameter of lipids in different lipid domains. The developed software is currently being used to better understand the interaction between lipids and cholesterol with different lipid domains in ternary GUVs as well as the plasma membrane vesicles isolated from living cells. These software and experiments combined should be powerful tools to elucidate the underlying thermodynamics and biophysics of membrane assemblies.
An online event display capable of visualizing the realtime cosmic ray data from the MINOS experiment, located half a mile underground in the historic Soudan iron mine in northeastern Minnesota, is being developed by Kuravi Hewawasam (Physics, Vizlab) in Association with Soudan Underground Laboratory. It is expected to go online with the rewamped Soudan Underground Laboratory website soon.
The Viz Lab staff have designed and built three touchscreen kiosks, which are now located on the UMD campus. Each kiosk underwent design, development, and testing within the Viz Lab.