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September 15, 2009 (Vol. 29, No. 16)

Molecules to Go

  • Valuable tools for the analysis of protein structure
  • Additional downloads required for some viewing options

Hold the pickles, extra onions…Now, even your molecular images can be made-to-order, thanks to this NIH resource. Molecules to Go (a site formerly named Molecules R Us, but changed after a certain toy company had a problem with that) allows users to view Protein Data Bank (PDB) files in the format that they please. This includes, among others, the standard ball-and-stick and space-filling images, a hydrogen-bond map, a text file of torsion information, and a motif map. (Do you want fries with that?) In addition to retrieving information from the PDB, this website utilizes other databases and programs to generate the various types of information. Some of the viewing options require that the user download some of the freely available molecular graphics programs like RasMol. The Instructions page succinctly describes the different structure formats from which the user can select.

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