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Friday, 8 December, 2000, 11:01 GMT
Digital boost for medical research
Brain x-ray
The system is a major advance on traditional methods
A 1.2m computer graphics system that can shed new light on medical science has been unveiled in Glasgow.

The state-of-the-art Vision (Visualisation and Imaging Supercomputing: Interdisciplinary Open Network) system allows researchers to produce advanced 2D and 3D images of how medicines interact with human cells.

These are then relayed into a 15-seat theatre and projected onto a large curved screen for analysis.

The graphics system, which was developed by Strathclyde University, is the most powerful of its kind in Scotland.

It is being tipped by the university to help scientists make great strides in their understanding of medicines.

Professor Alison Gurney, director of the centre for biophotonics, said: "The computing power of Vision is enabling us to look in new ways at how medicines interact with and alter the activity of living cells.

Wendy Alexander
Wendy Alexander: "Groundbreaking project"
"This will help us to understand how drugs work and how they may be made more effective"

Vision was hailed by Enterprise Minister Wendy Alexander as the type of digital project needed to lift Scotland's profile internationally.

She said: "This is a groundbreaking project that matches Scotland's ambition for success.

"I am pleased to be able to launch Vision and commend Strathclyde University for their innovation."

The launch is among the latest digital projects with a medical theme to emerge from Scotland.

In October, medical imaging company Voxar announced that it had secured new investment of 5.4m to expand software production.

Its product, Plug n View 3D, brings medical imaging to inexpensive PCs, improving access to the latest technology for radiologists and surgeons.

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