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Virtalis Brings Tracking to PyMOL

Virtalis Brings Tracking to PyMOL

VIRTALIS has added both screen-based Virtual Reality (VR) tracking and the ability to interact with chemical structures via a tracked hand held device to PyMOL.

PyMOL is a molecular viewer, render tool, and 3D molecular editor intended for visualisation of 3D chemical structures.

Steve Carpenter, Virtalis’ PyMOL specialist explained: “Increasing numbers of our customers hail from the biochemistry and life sciences fields. They asked us to create this plug-in to enhance the usability of PyMOL for them. We worked with the product’s late creator, Warren DeLano, to add 3D tracking functionality to his software. By simply moving the 3D hand visual into collision with the 3D scene, the user can now use its 3D position to allow a 2D selection to be performed – just like a mouse in a normal desktop environment.”

PyMOL serves academic research and education in chemistry and biology and the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries by rendering publication-quality journal illustrations of macromolecules including drug targets. Molecular animations can be created through simple object and camera motions or through input of trajectories from molecular dynamics simulations and other dynamic conformational ensembles. Available molecular representations for nanotechnology pictures include space-filling “CPK” atoms, chemical bonds, cartoon ribbons, molecular surfaces, and solvent accessible surface meshes.

Virtalis’ VR plug-in for PyMOL removes the need to return to the keyboard and mouse to change the viewing direction or orientation, making the whole process of interacting with molecules faster and more natural. The user now can simply navigate around the environment using the controls on the hand held device and can look at the molecules from different directions and angles with an enhanced spatial and depth perception.

As a stereochemistry viewer, PyMOL can illustrate the 3D stereochemical relationships of organic chemistry. When viewing crystallographic protein structures, PyMOL can display millions of atoms inside a crystal lattice.  Molecular interactions can be represented using interatomic distances, van der Waal’s clashes, property-based, potential-based and proximity-based colouring schemes, solid and mesh isosurface potentials, slice planes, and gradient field lines. PyMOL also supports input of electron density maps, electrostatic potential maps, and other volumetric data sets, as well as arbitrary 3D geometries comprised of triangles, spheres, cylinders, cones, ellipsoids, and text.

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