Review of Chimera

Title: UCSF Chimera

URL: http://www.cgl.ucsf.edu/chimera/index.html

Date Reviewed: 5/24/04

Description: An extensive 3D molecular modeling and graphical representation program. It is a combination of multiple programs each designed to help with one aspect of protein work.

    - It consists of Programs for - graphical representation, working with specific residues, aligning and working with multiple sequences, volume mapping, mapping potential drug interaction domain, and interaction between multiple research groups on a single molecular model.

Strengths: There is a large variety of programs, which can give you different perspectives on your protein, and there are many characterizing tool from sequence structure, motif analysis, as well as post-translational modifications.

    - This program is actual a assortment of multiple program each designed specifically for a set function.

    - This software is free for academic, government, non-profit, and personal use. Considering all the features it has, it is good program that didn't cost anything.

    - The imaging software is very impressive, the graphics are far better than those seen in other pay software.

    - It incorporates graphical features through alignment and gives the option for homologous mapping of proteins based on secondary structure.

Weaknesses: It can take a while to implement all the features of chimera especially since they are separate functions. But that is also a strength of the program.

    - Just like many useful modeling software it is not simple enough to just start working with off the bat, you need to play around a figure out how to use all the functions. A tutorial is a good thing to work through.

Comprehensiveness: There are a lot of good features that can be of use to protein structure analysis, and they are all for the most part included in the program. It is just difficult to figure out how to implement them all, however the graphical interface does make it a little easier.

Timeliness: Good, last update was less than 2 weeks ago.

Ease of Use: OK - could be better, but I can get around without a problem with a basic knowledge of the program. You can always learn more features as you use it.

Responsiveness: The features were a little slow at times I think it works best with a newer computer.

Sinilar or Related sites: This program has similar features to RasMol, Protein Explorer, and DeepView, however it surpasses all of them in terms of quality of graphics. As far as features go, they are all similar, DeepView has the closest to Chimera.

Overall Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars It's good but there is still room for improvement

Reviewer: Hillel Sims

Email: hillel.sims@tufts.edu