Sep 28, 2006
Is your browser so locked down that you can’t install any plugins or enable Java? Firewall refusing to cooperate with your molecules? Antivirus screaming at your structural efforts?
If so, then you probably find it rather difficult to run some of the chemistry drawing packages available for interactive use on the Web. There is an alternative.
Molinspiration Cheminformatics has released WebME, a molecule editor for creating
and editing molecules within a web browser that doesn’t need Java support and requires no plugins to be installed. The molecular editor is based on Web 2.0 Ajax technology and structure processing runs on serverside rather than on your machine.
The result is a web-based structure-input program with all kinds of potential that is not only platform independent but works with those locked down browsers.
Click to try WebME. In this implementation, the program is being used as the structure input for a molecular property calculator.
It may not have the depth of field of programs like ChemSketch and ChemDraw (yet), nor the bells and whistles of the many other structure packages available. But, the benefits to those behind restrictive user settings (in chemistry libraries for instance) are obvious.
The program is still in the beta stages of development, sitting at version 0.96 whatever that means. It seems nice and smooth to use though, quickly calculates properties and generates a Smiles string that you can then use elsewhere to search for your molecules. I hope they add InChI support soon though that’s the way to go for molecular searching these days.
There is, of course, another application that operates under similar general principles – PubChem sketcher (click the sketch button at PubChem.