Common platform for macromolecular crystallography at European synchrotrons

MXcuBE Meeting from 1st - 2nd of December 2015 at Alba, Barcelona. The meetings make sure that the devenlopment of MXcuBE3 closly fits to the needs of the users. 

Photo: Jordi Juanhuix/ALBA

Researchers use high-intensity X-ray light from synchrotron radiation sources to decipher the structures of biological molecules and thus the blueprints of life. A cooperation agreement has been effective since 2012 to establish common software standards at several European sources. Its aim: The eight synchrotrons involved want to create user-friendly, standardised conditions at the 30 experimental stations for macromolecular crystallography, which will greatly facilitate the work of research groups. In the new project “MXCuBE3”, the existing software platform is being adapted to include the latest developments in technology.

Many of the beamlines for macromolecular crystallography have been extensively modernised at various synchrotrons over the past few years. With new equipment, such as the latest high-resolution detectors, this opens up all new possibilities for experimentation. The common software platform MXCuBE2 now has to be adapted as well to keep up with this trend. The Curatorship has accordingly called for a new, overhauled version to be developed. The software solution MXCuBE3 will allow users to control their experiments via web applications. The upgrade will also guarantee MXCuBE3 will continue to run on computers with future operating systems, and will improve the connection to the sample database ISPyB.

Involved in the cooperation are the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, the ESRF, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Global Phasing Limited, MAX-VI-Lab in Sweden, SOLEIL in France, ALBA in Spain and DESY.

Read up on this in more detail in the ESRF magazine