Our understanding of the universe is expanding in all directions, expanding outwards as we see more and more of the cosmos and inwardly as we learn more about the nano world. In the nano world the tools for capturing the action shots are improving but there are still a number of destinations we are unable to explore. Organic organisms – for example, influenza virus – are too delicate for the standard tools of nano exploration. Powerful x-rays and laser illumination used in modern microscopes simply disintegrate such delicacies. In these situations scientists have been turning to simulations – computer models – for answers. Until now, studying viruses has been challenging in laboratories, this new technology not only allows for greater offline research, it belies the complexity associated with simulating billions of particles in the correct conditions to create such simulations
Dr. Ying Ren along with a team of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Process Engineering have also been searching for answers using simulators, in the process they have developed the Computational Microscope, a breakthrough in simulation technology.