Motivation

The sharing of macromolecular structural information online by scientists is predominantly performed via 2D static images, since the embedding of interactive 3D structures in webpages is non-trivial. Whilst the technologies to do so exist, they are often only implementable with significant web coding experience.

Results

Michelaɴɢʟo is an accessible and open-source web-based application that supports the generation, customization and sharing of interactive 3D macromolecular visualizations for digital media without requiring programming skills. A PyMOL file, PDB file, PDB identifier code or protein/gene name can be provided to form the basis of visualizations using the NGL JavaScript library. Hyperlinks that control the view can be added to text within the page. Protein-coding variants can be highlighted to support interpretation of their potential functional consequences. The resulting visualizations and text can be customized and shared, as well as embedded within existing websites by following instructions and using a self-contained download. Michelaɴɢʟo allows researchers to move away from static images and instead engage, describe and explain their protein to a wider audience in a more interactive fashion.

Availability and implementation

Michelaɴɢʟo is hosted at michelanglo.sgc.ox.ac.uk. The Python code is freely available at https://github.com/thesgc/MichelaNGLo, along with documentations about its implementation.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.