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PX Science Highlights

Data Collection Service


A protein crystallography data-collection service is now available to academic users. Approved users can send samples to the SRS or leave samples in the SBL after a prior visit. Data would then be collected from these samples by Daresbury staff.


All users who obtain beamtime by the normal application procedure will be eligible to use the service. This information is part of the application.

Mode of Operation

Users booking a sample for the service mode would inspect their sample as far as practicable at the home institute, in order to verify that it conforms to their expectations. Duplicate samples should normally be prepared to cover for ‘breakage’. Pre-frozen or capillary mounted samples will be handled.

A PX Service Data Sheet should be completed giving all the known information about the sample.
Word version, pdf version, html version

Service mode includes data collection and preliminary reduction, and will operate on a ‘pipeline’ model: Samples that are despatched will be put in a queue for the target station(s), and will be handled in that order. Contact with the user via e-mail will be maintained. Where possible, notification will be issued that ‘the experiment is about to be conducted’, as so on as the queue is moving. The user would have the option of contacting the operator with modified requirements, perhaps during the experiment after inspecting a few test images. Any data thus collected would normally be accessible through the network, either by anonymous ftp or via the web pages. The operator will also backup the data onto appropriate media for despatch to the user. While confidentiality will be maintained as far as practicably possible, it cannot be guaranteed.

Quality Assurance

The operator will index the early images of any data set, and process a small wedge of the data, to the point of scaling and merging, in order to assess the quality of the data. The user will have the responsibility of optimising and completing the data reduction. Any preliminary data produced in the course of the experiment will be used for quality assessment. If the user is in contact, an explicit ‘Proceed’ instruction will be expected. Otherwise, the limits of acceptability indicated in the Data Sheet will apply.
Turn around will be as short as possible, within the limitations of the queue system. If specific target dates are to be met, the requirement should be discussed beforehand with DL staff.


For general queries about the data collection service and to submit your data sheets contact Pierre Rizkallah or James Nicholson.
For queries about leaving your samples in the Structural Biology Laboratory at Daresbury contact Theonie Georgiou.

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