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Protein Structure Software Gets Big NIH Boost

NEW YORK, July 31 - A structural proteomics software development collaboration between the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Netherlands Cancer Institute is getting a $700,000 boost from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the European organizations said on July 15.


The collaborators will use the grant to improve ARP/wARP, a program widely used to translate X-ray diffraction data into refined protein structure models. The software, originally released in 1998, automates the laborious process of building and refining a molecular model into electron density maps.


Developers Victor Lamzin, of the EMBL, and Anastassis Perrakis, of the NKI, intend to improve the software's performance with lower-resolution data so that it can handle more of the structural data in the Protein Data Bank. While the program now can cope with data at resolutions of 2.3å or above, the duo hope that it will soon be able to tackle resolutions of 2.7å or 3å.


They also intend to make it easier to use by adding a graphical user interface and web-based documentation service.


ARP/wARP software has since been used by more than 700 laboratories worldwide, according to the authors. It is freely available for academic researchers.

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