Macs in Chemistry

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SMARTS viewer and editor


SMILES (Simplified Molecular Input Line Entry System) is a simple yet comprehensive chemical language in which molecules and reactions can be specified using ASCII characters representing atom and bond symbols. This system is compact and human readable which has made it an attractive way to store chemical information within a database.

Some examples

Ethanol CCO Cyclohexane C1CCCCC1 Nicotine CN1CCC[C@H]1c2cccnc2

In order to search for specific sub-structures it is necessary to create a query that describes the pattern of atoms and bonds (subgraph) required within the molecule (graph). SMARTS is a language that allows you to specify substructures using rules that are straightforward extensions of SMILES. That said complex queries can get challenging to interpret which is why the SMARTS viewer and SMARTS editor from BioSolveIT, two tools developed by Karen Schomburg and Lars Wetzer at the Center for Bioinformatics at the University of Hamburg, are so valuable.

The tools are provided free until June 30th 2014

K. Schomburg, H.-C. Ehrlich, K. Stierand, M.Rarey From Structure Diagrams to Visual Chemical Patterns J. Chem. Inf. Model., 2010, 50 (9), pp 1529-1535

K. Schomburg, L. Wetzer, M. Rarey Interactive Design of generic chemical patterns Drug Discov Today (2013)

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