UltraScan is a comprehensive data analysis software package for hydrodynamic data from analytical ultracentrifugation experiments. The software features an integrated data editing and analysis environment with a portable graphical user interface. UltraScan provides the highest possible resolution for sedimentation velocity experiments using high-performance computing modules for 2-dimensional spectrum analysis, genetic algorithm, and for Monte Carlo analysis. A MySQL database backend is integrated for data management, and the UltraScan LIMS system provides web-based access to the database and supercomputing functionality. Supercomputing resources are provided through a NSF Teragrid Science Gateway. Special care has been taken in the design of the software to guarantee an optimum in flexibility, user-friendliness, stability and convenience. The software is written in C++.
The software features popular sedimentation velocity and equilibrium analysis methods as well as simulation modules, utilities, and editing modules with support for velocity and equilibrium experiments, single and multi-channel centerpieces, absorbance and interference optics. All analysis methods generate ASCII formatted data suitable for import into third-party plotting programs, and contains a built-in postscript printer engine to generate publication - quality graphical representations of analysis data.
UltraScan is offered in two versions, UltraScan-II and UltraScan-III. The latter is a complete rewrite of the former, with many new features and a greatly improved interface. UltraScan-III was released in the summer of 2011 and will eventually replace the older version. We will maintain UltraScan-II to assure access to legacy data because UltraScan-III is not backward compatible with UltraScan-II. New users are encouraged to switch to UltraScan-III. In addition to numerous interface changes, the most important changes in UltraScan-III are listed below:
- UltraScan-III adheres to the OpenAUC standard.
- can be used simultaneously in a local disk-only mode without the requirement for network connectivity, or fully integrated with network capability, including a database and supercomputing backend
- contains a local 2DSA that is multi-threaded to take advantage of multi-core technology
- all hydrodynamic models are represented in a single, generalized and standard structure that can be interpreted by the ASTFEM simulator and understood throughout the program.
- All experimental data are stored in a new binary format that achieves 60-80% compression from the legacy Beckman data format
- All network communications are SSL encrypted and provide data privacy and security. Data ownership in the database is on a per-user level now
- A master password mechanism facilitates switching between multiple resources.
- A new rotor stretch calibration routine assures maximum accuracy for individually calibrated rotors
- A new reporting system provides much improved control over result report formatting
- Plots can be exported not only as bitmap, postscript, or PDF but also as SVG files which can be edited later on
- Finite element analysis for all methods, as well as data management is greatly improved to reduce the workflow without compromising flexibility
The LIMS component of UltraScan, coupled with the high-performance computing backend dramatically improves analysis speed and throughput and allows simultaneous analysis of a virtually unlimited number of experiments. Any institution, academic or for profit can obtain free data storage and supercomputing analysis resources through an NSF TeraGrid allocation grant issued to Borries Demeler. Please contact us for assistance with setting up a secure database and supercomputer access.