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Macromolecular crystallography at Diamond Light Source: Automation and pathogenic sample environment

DOI: 10.1107/S0108767308094440 DOI Help

Authors: David Hall (Diamond Light Source) , Alun Ashton (Diamond Light Source) , Jose Brandao-neto (Diamond Light Source) , David Butler (Diamond Light Source) , Elizabeth Duke (Diamond Light Source) , Gwyndaf Evans (Diamond Light Source) , Ralf Flaig (Diamond Light Source) , Andrew Foster (Diamond Light Source) , Paul Gibbons (Diamond Light Source) , Mic Harding (Diamond Light Source) , Mike Latchem (Diamond Light Source) , Karl Levik (Diamond Light Source) , Katherine Mcauley (Diamond Light Source) , James O'hea (Diamond Light Source) , Geoff Preece (Diamond Light Source) , James Sandy (Diamond Light Source) , Thomas Sorensen (Diamond Light Source) , David Waterman (Diamond Light Source) , Mark Williams (Diamond Light Source) , Richard Woolliscroft (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Poster

State: Published (Approved)
Published: August 2008

Abstract: At Diamond Light Source [1] the three phase I macromolecular crystallography (MX) beamlines [2] have experienced their first year of user experiments. The current user programme is interspersed with commissioning and optimisation of the X-ray source (including automation of beam delivery) in conjunction with deployment and improvements in software and hardware to provide intuitive, state of the art MX beamlines. A large component of this work is to automate as many components and experimental processes as possible, from beam conditioning to user interaction. Aspects of automation of MX beamlines include tracking of information of protein crystal samples from before arriving on site, automounting and screening for crystal quality, collecting data and processing the results, and recording the results of all these steps. Of particular note, beamline I03, will provide biological containment category 3 facilities in the near future for work with pathogenic crystals at room temperature. Automation will be an essential component of this development, allowing tracking of crystals and the automounting of 1680 samples before decontamination of the working environment is required. Automation of the routine aspects of MX should aid both experienced and less experienced users and allow them to profit from their short time on the Diamond MX beamlines to maximise their scientific output. This suite of beamlines will provide an excellent environment for the collection of data from both cryogenic and room temperature crystals, using automation to guide the experiment rather than direct it. The current status of all aspects of automation on the phase I MX beamlines at Diamond Light Source will be presented.

Journal Keywords: Crystallography; Automation; Synchrotron

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Technique Development

Instruments: I02-Macromolecular Crystallography , I03-Macromolecular Crystallography , I04-Macromolecular Crystallography