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ERIC Number: EJ799495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8175
Tonal Interface to MacroMolecules (TIMMol): A Textual and Tonal Tool for Molecular Visualization
Cordes, Timothy J.; Carlson, C. Britt; Forest, Katrina T.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, v36 n3 p203-208 May-Jun 2008
We developed the three-dimensional visualization software, Tonal Interface to MacroMolecules or TIMMol, for studying atomic coordinates of protein structures. Key features include audio tones indicating x, y, z location, identification of the cursor location in one-dimensional and three-dimensional space, textual output that can be easily linked to speech or Braille output, and the ability to scroll along the main chain backbone of a protein structure. This program was initially designed for visually impaired users, and it already has shown its effectiveness in helping a blind researcher study X-ray crystal structure data. Subsequently, TIMMol has been enhanced with a graphical display to act as a bridge to ease communication between sighted and visually impaired users as well as to serve users with spatial visualization difficulties. We performed a pilot study to assess the efficacy of the program in conveying three-dimensional information about proteins with and without graphical output to a general scientific audience. Attitudes regarding using TIMMol were assessed using Rasmol, a common visualization package, for comparison. With the use of text and tones exclusively, a majority of users were able to identify specific secondary structure elements, three-dimensional relationships among atoms, and atoms coordinating a ligand. In addition, a majority of users saw benefits in using TIMMol and would recommend it to those having difficulty with standard tools. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A