Introducing the Molecular theme

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At the molecular level, we need to display static and dynamic representations of the structures of over 100,000 biological macromolecules and many other associated small molecules including drugs.  Macromolecular structures typically have over 1,000 atoms and often far more.

Molecular graphics programs enable users to generate images that are both informative and visually fascinating. In addition, we have sequences totalling trillion nucleotides and 25 billion amino acids and methods to visualise these data facilitating comparison are available. Increasingly, macromolecular structures are also visualised as hybrid models, for example in the context of low-resolution 3D density maps from cryo electron microscopy. As more of biology is mapped at the sequence and structural levels, the user base of molecular display is expanding rapidly. Developers face the challenge of providing increased functionality combined with ease of use.