Public Release: 

Biological Defense Research Animated By Engineering Animation, Inc. For The U.S. Government

Engineering Animation, Inc.

EAI Visualizes The Future Of Biodefense Research


Red Blood Cell
Bioengineered red blood cells patrol the circulatory system, sponging up viral particles and carrying them to the liver where they are destroyed.

AMES, Iowa--(July 15, 1997)-- Engineering Animation, Inc. (Nasdaq: EAII), in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has produced a compelling 3D journey through the human body that demonstrates revolutionary biological defense strategies that--if successful--could protect the human body in the event of a bioweapons attack.

DARPA, the Department of Defense agency responsible for four decades of technological revolution, selected EAI because of its leadership and expertise in 3D biological visualization. The animation, which fuses scientific realism with 3D technology, will be used during DARPA presentations to portray the challenges faced when biological weapons enter the body as well as the possible defenses against them.

"EAI has created a powerful tool for communicating revolutionary concepts to a wide variety of audiences," said Commander Shaun Jones, MD, the DARPA pathogen countermeasures program manager. "It allows intuitive understanding of the complex, microscopic molecular and cellular defenses which are possible in the DARPA program."

In addition, EAI produced a Web site for DARPA that showcases the agency's programs and activities that are dedicated to eliminating the threat of biological weapons. The site can be accessed at: http://www.bwd.org/upc.


Dendrimers
Synthetic macromolecules or dendrimers, capture viral particles and prevent further viral destruction of healthy cells.

Witnessing a Biological Battle

EAI combined the expertise of its in-house molecular biologists, anatomists and medical illustrators with multimedia artists and 3D animators to produce this scientifically-accurate animation. EAI's 3D excursion through the human body begins with the inhalation of deadly viruses, and their rapid entry into the lungs, circulatory system and individual cells. After complete viral saturation, several biological defenses attack and conquer the intruders.

During the confrontation, programmed particles ensnare harmful viruses, synthetic macromolecules neutralize viral attacks and bioengineered red blood cells carry harmful cells to the liver where they are destroyed. Before this project, these concepts could only be understood by the scientific elite because no one has visually demonstrated these concepts.

"Traditional methods of scientific presentations are frequently unclear to the non-expert," said Jones. "State-of-the-art 3D animation is the best way to show these intricate molecular interactions."

Dr. Ron Taylor, one of the scientific investigators supported by DARPA and a professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, is currently developing the bioengineered red blood cells that are included in the animation. "EAI takes this research out of the laboratory and provides an elegant illustration which can be readily understood by a general, non-scientific audience," Taylor said.


Inside Lymphocyte
Programmed cellular messenger travels to the inside of the nucleus and activates the suicide gene. This causes the lymphocyte to sacrifice itself which prevents further viral replication.

3D Animation: It's Not Just For Hollywood Anymore

Visually-rich 3D animation--ordinarily reserved for Hollywood movies and commercials-- is increasingly being used in atypical venues. From courtrooms to operating rooms--and now government boardrooms--custom animation has evolved into an optimal tool for communicating, demonstrating and leveraging ideas. In addition to the DARPA project, EAI has produced animations for corporate communication, product marketing, entertainment, litigation and educational markets.

EAI also develops interactive multiplayer internet games, multimedia CD-ROMs and sells 3D visualization software to clients in the automotive, aerospace, heavy equipment and consumer electronics industries. All animations in the DARPA production were generated with VisLaba®, EAI's proprietary animation software.


Viral Replication Inhibitors
Viral genetic material in the process of being replicated by a viral enzyme. Molecular replication inhibitors can interrupt this process preventing the virus from permeating the body further.

"Our 3D visualization capabilities bring to life complex ideas and concepts that could otherwise not be viewed," said Martin Vanderploeg, executive vice president and chief technology officer for EAI. "From microscopic DNA details that elude electron microscopes--to programmed genes that destroy viral particles--EAI reveals theories, discoveries and vantage points that people are only able to imagine."

About EAI

EAI specializes in applying 3D visualization technology to meet the productivity, communication, education and entertainment needs of its clients through three interrelated product lines: product visualization software, interactive multimedia and custom animation. The company's custom animation products combine proprietary animation technology with 3D-rich content to address the communication needs of clients in the litigation, biomedical, corporate communications, multimedia and entertainment markets.

EAI's team includes Ph.D.-level engineers, scientists, modelers, animators, motion experts, special effects technicians, illustrators and graphic designers. The company uses an extensive library of models, textures and a proprietary anatomical database to create detailed and scientifically accurate animations that conform to the laws of physics.

EAI's corporate headquarters and technology center are located in Ames, Iowa, with other offices worldwide.

Visit the DARPA website created by Engineering Animation, Inc. at http://www.bwd.org/upc. Slides, VHS, Beta videotape and additional materials are available upon request. For more information about EAI, visit us at www.eai.com or call toll free at 1-800-324-7760

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