Macromolecular course

A lab course on Rapid Data Collection and Structure Solving in Macromolecular Crystallography at Brookhaven National Lab in April, 1999 attracted forty-seven students including six senior scientists. A summary of the course can be found at the web site Meeting Reports Two days were devoted to lectures on fundamentals and practical details of use of software and specimen handling. Lectures:

  • Diffraction Geometry for the Rotation Method (R. Sweet)
  • Strategy in data collection (Z. Dauter)
  • Data reduction with d*Trek (J. Pflugrath), the HKL suite (Z. Otwinowski and W. Minor) and, the DPS/Mosflm Package (C. Nielsen)
  • Beamline software: Optix, MARMAD (J. Skinner) and ADSC and X12-B controls (Malcolm Capel)
  • Frozen specimen preparation (E. Garman)
  • Special properties of SR: polarization, bandwidth, collimation (L. Berman)
  • CCDbased x-ray detectors (M. Capel)
  • Structure solving with MAD (C. Ogata), SOLVE (L.- W. Hung), and CNS (J. Jiang).

On the evening of the second day data collection began. Half of the students brought specimens. Some in liquid nitrogen, others in delicate crystal-growing apparatus.[course attendees]

Attendees at the Macromolecular Crystallography Course Brookhaven National Lab.

Six NSLS dipole beamlines were dedicated to use by the students in the course. Nearly all of the projects accomplished useful data collectionand three teams produced useful electron density maps.

During the two days of data collection there were continuing tutorials in use of the software and crystal freezing. C. Weeks of the Hauptman/Woodward Inst. demonstrated Shake-and-Bake and solved a heavy-atom problem with a student who had brought otherwise uninterpretable data and S. Parkin of Duke helped E. Garman in the crystal-freezing lab.

This course was sponsored by a grant from the National Institute of Health Div. of Research Resources to the Brookhaven Biology Dept and National Synchrotron Light Source, and in part by support from the Dept of Energy Offices of Biological and Environmental Research. Some financial assistance came from Brookhaven Science Associates and Hampton Research Corp. of Laguna Niguel, California. It was organized by R.M. Sweet, M. Capel, L. Berman, and A. Emrick.

Robert Sweet