close Icon

Interactive visualization tools for the structural biologist.

Porebski BT, Ho BK, Buckle AM

  • Journal Journal of applied crystallography

  • Published 03 Aug 2013

  • Volume 46

  • ISSUE Pt 5

  • Pagination 1518-1520

  • DOI 10.1107/S0021889813017858


In structural biology, management of a large number of Protein Data Bank (PDB) files and raw X-ray diffraction images often presents a major organizational problem. Existing software packages that manipulate these file types were not designed for these kinds of file-management tasks. This is typically encountered when browsing through a folder of hundreds of X-ray images, with the aim of rapidly inspecting the diffraction quality of a data set. To solve this problem, a useful functionality of the Macintosh operating system (OSX) has been exploited that allows custom visualization plugins to be attached to certain file types. Software plugins have been developed for diffraction images and PDB files, which in many scenarios can save considerable time and effort. The direct visualization of diffraction images and PDB structures in the file browser can be used to identify key files of interest simply by scrolling through a list of files.