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Biology
  

3D Video Games Go Inside The Body

WASHINGTON, DC (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Parents who have a hard time getting their teenagers off the computer and away from video games, now might want to allow for more time to play games.

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It’s a big business! 97 percent of teenagers play them! A pew research center study reveals teens spend one hour and 13 minutes playing video games each day. Now, scientists are using the love of the game to get kids to love learning!

A new game, called immune attack, developed by biochemists and gaming programmers, is a 3D video game that plunges students into a microscopic world of the body's immune system.

"Immune attack is a game that teaches the player what cells look like, where proteins are found, and how cells communicate with each other." Biochemist Melanie Stegman, PhD, from the Federation of American Scientists told Ivanhoe.

The game teaches students about cell biology and molecular science.

"I've learned about like how big the cells are compared to other cells, because I didn't know red blood cells were that small." Student Rachel Rudiger said.

"I learned all about the different types of cells inside the body, like neutrophils and monocytes and macrophages." Student Jezzelle Cacaworin said.

The mission is to save a virtual patient suffering from a bacterial infection. The player must teach immune cells how to fight the infection. Game strategies like the capturing of white blood cells by proteins on blood vessel walls, mimic activities that occur in our bodies

"It presents these concept cells, proteins, it presents it to them in intuitive way, no words required. You see it. You interact with it, and that introduction is brilliant." Dr. Stegman explained.

--Teachers love it.

"When I found this game I was very excited about it because it’s a dynamic way of getting inside the body and then showing them exactly what's happening." Science teacher at Bayside High School Clara Heyder said.

And more importantly, students are playing it!

"I prefer this because it's more interactive, with a textbook you can read about it but sometimes you just can't visualize it." Student Bryan Atkinson said.

Visualizing science in 3D and getting kids to play a game they may just learn something. The game can be downloaded for free at www.immuneattack.net

The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the Biophysical Society contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report. This report has also been produced thanks to a generous grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc.

Click here to Go Inside This Science or contact:

Melanie Stegman, Ph.D.
Federation of American Scientists
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 454-4681
mstegman@fas.org

American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Joseph Catapano
Communication Specialist
(703) 248-4772
http://www.aapspharmaceutica.com

catapanoj@aaps.org

Ellen Weiss
Director of Policy & Communications
Biophysical Society
(240) 290-5606
eweiss@biophysics.org


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