What will become of PyMOL?

Schrödinger announced several days ago that it has reached an agreement with the estate of the late Dr. Warren L. DeLano to continue the development, support, and sales of the PyMOL software package.

PyMOL is well known to all of us in the field and is perhaps the most widely used and loved molecular visualization tool. According to the announcement, prior to his unexpected passing Warren DeLano, had been working closely with Schrödinger for over a year, and in constant discussions concerning ways to progressively integrate the companies’ products. Warren’s wife said: “I know this is what Warren wanted for PyMOL’s future.”

Tom Stout added on the CCP4BB that Jason Vertrees that has been working closely with Warren for the past several years as a co-developer has agreed to join Schrödinger.

However, a quick search on twitter shows a range of feelings towards this acquizition:

What do you think this means for PyMOL’s future ? Tell us in the comments.

Written by Nir London in: News | Tags: , , , ,


PyRosetta Book

PyRosetta Book

The Gray Lab at Johns Hopkins University has just released PyRosetta, a Python-based interactive platform for accessing the objects and algorithms within the Rosetta protein structure prediction suite.

In addition to the code, the Gray Lab has put together a book that leads the reader through basics of protein structure and energetics to applications in folding, refinement, docking and design. The focus is on enabling users to write custom scripts, so it includes material on Rosetta fundamentals and the appendices have a list of PyRosetta commands and a breakdown of the input files. The book was beta-tested by students during a course at JHU. The course is a series of workshops that teach how to measure and manipulate protein conformations, calculate energies in low- and high-resolution representations, fold proteins from sequence, model variable regions of proteins (loops), dock proteins or small molecules, design protein sequences, and build custom protocols for operations tailored to particular biomolecular applications

The book can be purchased through Lulu:


or downloaded for free as pdf chapters from http://www.pyrosetta.org under the Tutorial link.


Warren DeLano has passed away, a terrible tragedy.

We recently saw these posts reporting that Warren DeLano passed away on Tuesday:



This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to his family and friends. He was a truly incredible person whose work with PyMOL changed the face of molecular modeling. He also had a huge personal impact on our community. He was dedicated to science and dedicated to making the world a better place through his example and by the personal way he interacted with everyone.

When I was considering starting the Rosetta Design Group a few years back, I asked Warren for some advice by email. He promptly called and we talked for a few hours. After our conversation I reflected on how much his call and advice meant to me, and hoped that I would act as he did in the same situation.

May his example, memory, and code live on forever.


What is your favorite molecular viewer ?

One of the main tools of the structural biologist (computational or experimental) if not, THE main tool, is the molecular viewer he uses. There are various viewers available, but usually each of us, at a certain point at his career, chooses a specific one and specializes in it. It becomes a way of self expression, to the point that using a “non-native” viewer is like talking in a foreign language. (How do I select only the polar atoms within 4.5A of chain B and color them CPK in this awkward viewer ?!?!?! On MY viewer it would take me a second!)

We want to hear what is YOUR molecular viewer of choice. Each viewer is optimized for a different set of tasks. E.g. VMD is designed for molecular dynamics, UCSF Chimera integrates many molecular analysis tools, Rasmol is a quick and dirty command line operated little fellow, not producing the nicest figures though, PyMOL creates good looking figures and is highly scriptable (as we demonstrated before in PyMOL scripts), while Jmol is web oriented and easy to embed in web pages.

What is your favorite molecular viewer ?

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There are other software available, please tell us in the comments what’s your favorite viewer advantages and what are the disadvantages of the other “lesser” 😉 viewers.


PyMOL scripts

Have you ever tried to represent your protein as a “sausage”-style cartoon, with the tube diameter scaled by values in the B-factor column ? We present an array of useful PyMOL scripts links to solve your problem.

PyMOL is, as defined on its home page: “.. a USER-SPONSORED molecular visualization system on an OPEN-SOURCE foundation”. Indeed it is one of the most popular molecular viewers out there. One of the main strengths of PyMOL is its inherent scripting abilities. I’m sure that many of you knew that, but have never really taken the time to write such scripts, and why would you ? others have done the job for you!


Written by Nir London in: Resources | Tags: , , , ,

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