A 3D revolution in communicating science

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Since the release of Adobe Systems' Portable Document Format (PDF) version 1.6 in 2004, it has become possible to view interactively three-dimensional models that are embedded into PDF files. This attribute will dramatically increase information content as well as data transparency in scientific papers. Additionally, replacing multiple two-dimensional figures of a three-dimensional structure with one integrated interactive three-dimensional model will reduce the need for supplementary material.

The potential of this technological advance for all science is obvious. Because of the foreseeable rise in demand by the scientific community, publishers and scientific institutions need to work hand in hand to support the implementation of this highly desirable technique.

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Murienne, J., Ziegler, A. & Ruthensteiner, B. A 3D revolution in communicating science. Nature 453, 450 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/453450d

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