Fast, interactive display of molecular complexes containing millions of atoms is now possible, without plug-ins, on desktop computers and smartphones. The new NGL Viewer enables easy visualization of even the largest structures for everyone in research and education.
In addition, the new binary compressed Macromolecular Transmission Format (MMTF.rcsb.org) massively reduces network transfer and parsing times. With these advances, we are prepared for upcoming advances in experimental techniques that are already delivering structures of rapidly increasing size and complexity.
The NGL Viewer can be launched from the 3D view tab or under the image display box on each Structure Summary page (e.g., PDB ID 4HHB). NGL is the only supported viewer for large structures comprising more than 10,000 residues in either the asymmetric unit or the biological assemblyl (e.g., PDB ID 4V99). For structures with a large asymmetric unit, a backbone-only structure is displayed by default to improve loading time. Display style and quality are optimized so the viewer will run smoothly on both mobile and desktop systems, but can be customized for more powerful systems or for the generation of high resolution images.
Crystallographic unit cells can be displayed, as well as “supercells” comprising a set of adjacent unit cells for X-ray entries.
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