Synthetic vaccines are designed with the help of computer-graphics programs. These displays generated by Arthur J. Olson of the Research Institute of Scripps Clinic show a method whereby parts of a viral protein that are on the surface of a virus, and therefore accessible to antibodies, can be identified. The backbone of the surface domain of the protein on the outer shell of the tomato bushy-stunt virus is displayed (1) on the basis of coordinates determined by Stephen C. Harrison of Harvard University and his colleagues. A single peptide of the protein is picked out in yellow, with the side chains of its component amino acids indicated in atomic detail (2). The peptide is enlarged and a sphere representing a water molecule is displayed (3). The sphere is rolled around the peptide to generate a map of the surface accessible to water (4); it does so, following an algorithm developed by Michael L. Connolly, by placing a dot at each point of its closest contact with the peptide, taking account of the sphere's own van der Waals radius (zone of influence, in effect) and that of each atom of the peptide and the rest of the protein. A similar-dot-surface map is generated to show what parts of the peptide are still accessible to water when three copies of the protein are associated in an array on the surface of the virus (5) and when four such arrays (out of 60) are in position on the outer surface of the virus (6).