Campbell's Animations Help Illuminate Immunology
Assistant Professor Campbell, a 1984 Davidson graduate teaching at his alma mater for the past six years, explained, "Immunology is a difficult field to conceptualize, and these animations help tie together fragmented facts that take half a textbook chapter and several figures to describe."
Campbell created the Web pages for immunology and histology with "Flash" software, which endows them with a closet full of lively noises and motion. The viewer interacts with image maps that zoom in at higher magnifications to show tissue and cell structure relationships. The animations can be viewed by any web browser with the Flash plugin.
The lively graphics illuminate serious, college-level subject matter such as MHC peptide loading, the maturation stages of B cells in the bone marrow, B cell selection, and how antibodies bind to so many different epitopes.
Campbell's animations have caught the attention of the world of science outside Davidson in two high profile biology journals. Scienceselected the immunology web page as a "Hot Site" November 12, and the online biomedical journal HMS Beagle gave similar honors on Dec. 1.
As a result of the notoriety, the college's biology department web server tripled hits to about 10,000 per day.
Campbell collected images of cells and tissue for the site with the departmental microscope and digital camera, and was funded in his work by Davidson College and a Mellon Technology Fellowship from the Associated Colleges of the South.
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