BLACKSBURG, VA., September 29, 2014-- The inaugural Virginia Science Festival will be hosted on the Blacksburg campus on October 4, 2014, one of the many events surrounding the festival schedule. 

The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute will participate in the on the Virginia Tech campus, by bringing the ever-popular Zombie Virus Tracker game, allowing children to get excited about spreading a virus using scanned armbands and then viewing the simulated spread on the website. The game teaches children about epidemics, virus mutations, and inoculations.   The game originated from an initiative started by deputy director Stephen Eubank of the VBI Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory.
We will be hosting two booths -- one on the drillfield, and one at the Moss Arts Center.

Two groups are volunteering to run the booths. One group is affiliated with Stephen Eubank from his work with the department of Population Health Science in the Master of Public Health program; the second group, is a group of freshman cadets who are pursuing science degrees.

While the Zombie Virus Tracker game is meant to spread awareness about infectious disease and its' implications, you can't miss the parallel spread of excitement as you continue to hear everyone saying, "Do you want to be a Zombie?" as they share the armbands!

In addition, we hope you will join science fiction authors and VBI scientists for an evening of conversation on 'The Science in Science Fiction' on Tuesday, October 7, from 7:00 --9:00pm in the VBI Conference Center, as they discuss the interweaving of science and science fiction. How has science fiction inspired scientific discovery? How is science making what seemed like science fiction possible?

This event is free and open to the public and takes place as part of the Virginia Science Festival event schedule.

A university-level Research Institute of Virginia Tech, the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute was established in 2000 with an emphasis on informatics of complex interacting systems scaling the microbiome to the entire globe. It helps solve challenges posed to human health, security, and sustainability. Headquartered at the Blacksburg campus, the institute occupies 154,600 square feet in research facilities, including state-of-the-art core laboratory and high-performance computing facilities, as well as research offices in the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, Virginia.

Written by Traci Roberts.

#

Tiffany L Trent
540-231-6822
ttrent@vt.edu

September 29, 2014