Knowledge of cellular structure and function has increased dramatically with the advent of modern molecular and computational technologies. Helping students to understand cellular dynamics is a major challenge to educators. To address this challenge, we have developed the Kabala Engine, an open source engine based on OpenSG ( and VRJuggler ( This engine is designed to enable biologists, and indeed any domain expert — chemists, artists, psychologists — to create virtual interactive worlds for teaching or research. As a proof-of-concept, we have used this engine to create Meta!Blast, a virtual plant cell containing a prototype chloroplast in which students can enter, activate the light reactions, including electron excitation, and create molecular oxygen and ATP.

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