Developer's description:RasMol is a program for molecular graphics visualisation originally developed by Roger Sayle. This site is provided for the convenience of users of RasMol and developers of open source versions of RasMol. The site itself is provided courtesy of Bernstein + Sons. Maintenance of RasMol, much of the development, and integration of modifications provided by the community is done at the ARCiB laboratory at Dowling College.
Welcome to the RasMol and OpenRasMol web site. This site was established in mid-September 2000 to provide a home for developers of Open Source versions of RasMol. In May 2002, it also became a home page for users of RasMol. RasMol is an important scientific tool for visualisation of molecules created by Roger Sayle in 1992. RasMol is used by hundreds of thousands of users world-wide to view macromolecules and to prepare publication-quality images. Science is best served when the tools we use are fully understood by those who wield those tools and by those who make used of results obtained with those tools. When a scientific tool exists as software, access to source code is an important element in achieving full understanding of that tool. As our field evolves and new versions of software are required, access to source allows us to adapt our tools quickly and effectively.
RasMol is a molecular graphics program intended for the visualisation of proteins, nucleic acids and small molecules. The program is aimed at display, teaching and generation of publication quality images. RasMol runs on wide range of architectures and operating systems including Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, UNIX and VMS systems. UNIX and VMS versions require an 8, 24 or 32 bit colour X Windows display (X11R4 or later). The X Windows version of RasMol provides optional support for a hardware dials box and accelerated shared memory communication (via the XInput and MIT-SHM extensions) if available on the current X Server.
The program reads in a molecule coordinate file and interactively displays the molecule on the screen in a variety of colour schemes and molecule representations. Currently available representations include depth-cued wireframes, 'Dreiding' sticks, spacefilling (CPK) spheres, ball and stick, solid and strand biomolecular ribbons, atom labels and dot surfaces.
The X Windows version of RasMol provides optional support for a hardware dials box and accelerated shared memory communication (via the XInput and MIT-SHM extensions) if available on the current X Server.
The program reads in molecular coordinate files and interactively displays the molecule on the screen in a variety of representations and colour schemes. Supported input file formats include Protein Data Bank (PDB), Tripos Associates' Alchemy and Sybyl Mol2 formats, Molecular Design Limited's (MDL) Mol file format, Minnesota Supercomputer Center's (MSC) XYZ (XMol) format, CHARMm format, CIF format and mmCIF format files. If connectivity information is not contained in the file this is calculated automatically. The loaded molecule can be shown as wireframe bonds, cylinder 'Dreiding' stick bonds, alpha-carbon trace, space-filling (CPK) spheres, macromolecular ribbons (either smooth shaded solid ribbons or parallel strands), hydrogen bonding and dot surface representations. Atoms may also be labelled with arbitrary text strings. Alternate conformers and multiple NMR models may be specially coloured and identified in atom labels. Different parts of the molecule may be represented and coloured independently of the rest of the molecule or displayed in several representations simultaneously. The displayed molecule may be rotated, translated, zoomed and z-clipped (slabbed) interactively using either the mouse, the scroll bars, the command line or an attached dial box.