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The Molecular Biology Consortium Beamline 4.2.2 at the Advanced Light Source is a state-of-the-art facility for macromolecular crystallography located in Berkeley, California. The beam source is a superbend in sector 4 of the ALS and provides flux greater than 2 x 10e11 photons/second. 4.2.2 is unique on the West Coast in that it uses a sagittally focusing monochromator providing a 125 um x 90 um (H x W) beam onto the sample mounted on a full 6-axis goniometer. The beam can be focused from before the sample to the detector at up to 1m distance providing optimal spot resolution and shape for a wide variety of unit cells and collection regimes. A Rigaku ACTOR system provides automated sample mounting and the beamline is controlled using the familiar Blu-Ice control system.
The Molecular Biology Consortium offers a number of programs that are available as part of membership. Remote data collection offers participating labs the convenience of performing experiments from their home institutions or anywhere around the world. On-demand scheduling frees the users from having to wait for enough samples to “justify” a trip, and time from 4 hours to 2 days can be scheduled within a week. Those that wish may make use of service crystallography where beamline staff collect, process, and scale data per the user's instructions and needs. Additionally, home lab visits, or reverse synchrotron trips, allow training to a large number of users at the same time by beamline staff at the user's home institution. Finally, beamline staff are always open to new collaborations and opportunities to participate in the success of Consortium member programs.