- Why are the graphics missing from report print-outs?
The usual cause of this problem is that Internet Explorer is configured to Check
for newer versions of stored pages on Every visit to the page. To fix
this, choose Internet Options from the Tools menu. On the General
Tab, in the Temporary Internet Files frame, choose Settings. Under
Check for newer versions of stored pages, select Automatically.
(If the graphics are missing in the browser, this is a different problem. It probably
means you have an in-house Mascot server and the GD graphics library is not installed).
- Why do I get an error message about "max number of ion values
10,000" when I know that the spectrum has far fewer peaks?
You are uploading peak lists, i.e. centroided mass values, aren't you? Uploading profile
data will (i) take a very long time (ii) give unpredictable, usually very bad, results.
- Why is there a long delay after submitting a Mascot search form before
the progress report appears?
Are you uploading a data file? If so, this delay may be entirely due to the file upload time.
Some browsers are better than others at showing signs of activity during file upload. If the
delay doesn't seem to correlate with data file size, then maybe you're hitting the server at
a very busy time.
- I uploaded a .DTA file containing several MS/MS datasets. Why did I only
get an answer for the first one?
Did you remember to include a blank line between each of the MS/MS datasets?
A delimiter between datasets is essential because the DTA format is relatively unstructured.
Without a delimiter, the first line of a new dataset (peptide mass, charge)
might be just another line from the previous dataset (fragment ion mass, intensity).
- Is there an easy way to concatenate (merge) multiple .DTA files into
a single file on my PC for submitting to Mascot?
Yes, details can be found here.
- What is the relationship between Mascot and Mowse?
Mascot was developed from Mowse, and incorporates all of its functionality.
You can find a brief history of Mowse here.
- What limits apply to searches submitted to the public Mascot server?
The public Mascot server gets very busy, so we have to limit the time taken by
individual searches. The current limits are:
- Maximum of 2 simultaneous searches per user
- Maximum file upload 20 Mb
- Maximum of 1200 spectra in a single MS/MS search
- Cannot select enzyme type 'None'
We also request that you do not submit more than one very large search at a time.
Very large search means:
- More than 5 variable modifications or
- Any search of an EST database
Once you get the results back, either directly or by email, it's safe to submit
the next search.
If you really need to perform a no enzyme search, e.g. for endogenous peptides,
email email@example.com and
we will provide a log-in that allows no enzyme searches of up to 5 spectra.
- Can I save search results?
See the help page for Sharing Result Reports.
- How long are search results retained on the public Mascot server?
We don't systematically delete old results files, but we don't guarantee to keep
them, either. They may disappear because of a hardware failure or because we run out of
disk space. If your results are important, you should consider licensing Mascot
for use in-house. See the Products pages for further information.
- What platforms are supported by Mascot?
Mascot has been ported to Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, and 7, Linux on Intel and AMD,
and Sun Solaris. In general, we support the current releases
of these operating systems, and cannot guarantee operation with releases which have been
obsoleted by their manufacturer.
- Is it possible to add a new modification?
The list of modifications used by Mascot is taken directly from the
Unimod database. If you want to
add a new modification to Unimod, you can do so, and you then become the curator
of the new record. The Mascot
modifications list is updated from Unimod each weekend.
Note that only selected modifications are displayed by default in the
Mascot search form. If you want to see the complete list, you must go to the
search form defaults page and tick the
checkbox for 'Show all mods.'.
- What is the public web server hardware and software?
The Matrix Science web server runs Mascot searches on an IBM eServerTM
BladeCenterTM, as described on the
Mascot Cluster product page. Twelve blades are used for searches, each
containing dual 2.83 GHz quad core E5440 processors and 8 GB memory. The operating system is
Our Apache web server runs on a separate, dual processor PC
with a 1.6 TB RAID array for storing search results.
- How can I select multiple entries in a search form list box?
The technique for selecting multiple entries is platform dependent. In most cases,
to select multiple individual entries, hold down the control key and select with the left
mouse button. To select a range of entries, select the first entry then hold down the
shift key while selecting the last entry in the range.
- Can I get a demo copy of Mascot?
We encourage everyone to use the web site for evaluation purposes. The package is fully
functional and the databases are updated every night. If you need benchmarks
for search speed on a specific platform, these can be supplied. Just send us the search or
searches of interest (specifying database, mass tolerances, etc., etc.), and the target
platform. We can then provide benchmark data and, if necessary, make it part of a written