Macs in Chemistry

Insanely Great Science

CrystalMaker 10.4


The much-awaited CrystalMaker 10.4 is now shipping - complete with full “Dark Mode”.

CrystalMaker and CrystalDiffract are real 64-bit Mac programs, written in Cocoa/Objective-C, with beautiful real Mac interfaces. They’re not Windows or Unix applications reskinned via Qt, Java, wxWidgets they’re the real deal: 100% pure Mac. Thus they are able to offer:-

  • Retina display
  • Multi-touch
  • Force touch
  • Haptic feedback
  • Touch bar interface (MacBook Pro)
  • Dark Mode
  • Full-screen mode and Spaces
  • Quick Look
  • Finder thumbnails
  • QuickTime video
  • Apple Help
  • Code-signed, sandboxed, with “hardened runtime” for maximum security

CrystalMaker 10.4 has over 60 new features, of which the most-important are probably:-

  1. Dark Mode
  2. Sleek new structures library with integrated CrystalViewer (1,100 structures; fully customizable)
  3. New energy-modelling engine: makes designing your own molecules quick and easy, with vibrational spectra simulation.
  4. Live powder diffraction: link CrystalMaker 10.4 with CrystalDiffract 6.8 so that editing a crystal in CrystalMaker automatically updates its simulated powder diffraction pattern in CrystalDiffract.
  5. Interpolate Structures command - makes animating structural behaviour smooth and seamless.
  6. Customizable Atoms Inspector and coordinates display.
  7. Spring-loaded sidebars: move the mouse to the edge of the screen to show the relevant sidebar (works great in full-screen mode).
  8. Powerful video sizing/compression options.
  9. Fat sticks display option (great for emphasising structural channels).
  10. Advanced control over axial vectors with scaling, fonts, positioning, inset etc.

More details are available from the download page

They also have a set of video tutorials available.

CrystalMaker X lets you import data from over 40 different formats: with instant display and powerful customization. CrystalMaker can handle including multi-structure files such as DL_POLY HISTORY - use CrystalMaker's synchronization and animation capabilities to rapidly understand structural behaviour, lattice dynamics, or visualize the trajectory of a simulation. CrystalMaker X can also handle truly massive structures. Take advantage of our unique "Depth Profiling" tool, to rapidly scan ares of interest in massive structures - ideal for characterizing the results from computer models.


TS Calc The mathematical equations tool


TS Calc is a document based application and its documents can be realized and used as calculation models for specific mathematical technical problems. It is a complete different approach to solve math problems respect to the usual one using spreadsheets.



Optimizing colormaps with consideration for color vision deficiency to enable accurate interpretation of scientific data


Around 4% of the population suffer from colour blindness in one for or another with red/green colour blindness being the most common and sadly in many plots, graphs, presentations little effort is made to make things easier for those people with colour blindness.

Color blindness, also known as color vision deficiency (CVD), is the decreased ability to see color or differences in color. Simple tasks such as selecting ripe fruit, choosing clothing, and reading traffic lights can be more challenging. Color blindness may also make some educational activities more difficult.

A recent publication seeks to address this need, Optimizing colormaps with consideration for color vision deficiency to enable accurate interpretation of scientific data DOI

While there have been some attempts to make aesthetically pleasing or subjectively tolerable colormaps for those with CVD, our goal was to make optimized colormaps for the most accurate perception of scientific data by as many viewers as possible. We developed a Python module, cmaputil, to create CVD-optimized colormaps, which imports colormaps and modifies them to be perceptually uniform in CVD-safe colorspace while linearizing and maximizing the brightness range. The module is made available to the science community to enable others to easily create their own CVD-optimized colormaps.



LICHEM: Layered Interacting CHEmical Models


An update to LICHEM: Layered Interacting CHEmical Models has been published DOI

LICHEM is an open-source (GPLv3) interface between QM and MM software so that QM/MM calculations can be performed with polarizable and frozen electron density force fields. Functionality is also present for standard point-charge based force fields, pure MM, and pure QM calculations.

Available from GitHub

Note, On OSX machines, the SEDI, TEX, BIB, and CXXFLAGS variables will need to be modified.


Workshop on Computational Tools for Drug Discovery


Registration opened just before Christmas and apparently there were a number of people sign up over the festive period. Remember there are a limited number of places and it is first come first served.

Registration and full details are here.

Computational Tools Flyer

This workshop is intended to provide expert tutorials to get you started and show what can be achieved with the software.