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ERIC Number: EJ1126359
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
PyMOL mControl: Manipulating Molecular Visualization with Mobile Devices
Lam, Wendy W. T.; Siu, Shirley W. I.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v45 n1 p76-83 Jan-Feb 2017
Viewing and manipulating three-dimensional (3D) structures in molecular graphics software are essential tasks for researchers and students to understand the functions of molecules. Currently, the way to manipulate a 3D molecular object is mainly based on mouse-and-keyboard control that is usually difficult and tedious to learn. While gesture-based and touch-based interactions are increasingly popular in interactive software systems, their suitability in handling molecular graphics has not yet been sufficiently explored. Here, we designed the gesture-based and touch-based interaction methods to manipulate virtual objects in PyMOL utilizing the motion and touch sensors in a mobile device. Three fundamental viewing controls--zooming, translation and rotation-and frequently used functions were implemented. Results from a pilot user study reveal that task performances on viewing controls using a mobile device are slightly reduced as compared to mouse-and-keyboard method. However, it is considered to be more suitable for oral presentations and equally suitable for education scenarios such as school classes. Overall, PyMOL mControl provides an alternative way to manipulate objects in molecular graphic software with new user experiences. The software is freely available at
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A