Lab Spotlight: XChem at Diamond Light Souce, CombiPuck™ Development, Kathleen Lonsdale Article & More
XChem @ DLS: Redefining Fragment Screening
Fragment screening is now a well-established approach to finding chemical starting points for drug discovery projects. X-ray crystallography has always played a crucial role in the process, but its use as primary screen has historically been severely hindered by the enormous work involved in preparing, measuring and analysing hundreds of soaked crystal samples .

A few years ago, Diamond Light Source (Didcot, UK), in partnership with the Structure Genomic Consortium (SGC) at Oxford University, has set up the XChem facility as part of beamline I04-1, one of Diamond's MX beamlines. It provides an optimized workflow for crystal-based fragment screening, utilizing ultra-fast sample soaking, robot-assisted crystal mounting, automated data collection and HPC-based data analysis. The facility allows both academic and industrial researchers access to a platform for rapidly screening targets.
"In 2017, we welcomed more than 30 XChem industrial and academic projects through the pipeline. More than 30,000 crystals were mounted using MiTeGen products and screened on the I04-1 beamline." -XChem Team
(Click to Enlarge) - Workflow at XChem
Popular Tools at XChem
Using the right size and style loop for your crystal impacts data quality. Easily
cleaning, storing, and keeping track of your loops, allows you to screen more crystals.

Developed in collaboration with the XChem team, the Unitray™ system simplifies crystal mounting, loop cleaning and organization.
Improve harvesting, cryocooling, and data quality with loops optimized for diffraction.

Crystal harvesting is easier with the long narrow necks of MicroLoops LD™, which minimize drop disturbance when inserted into small liquid drops.
Crystal Shifter (Oxford Lab Technologies Ltd)
Save time and screen more samples with rapid crystal harvesting using automated plate translation.

Keep track of your samples and puck locations automatically with integrated software.
Lab Posters
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In The News
Illustration: Gabriele Stautner, ARTIFOX © Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
"25 years ago, the cause of Huntington's disease was discovered. Mutations on a single gene, the huntingtin gene, lead to an incorrect form of the correspondent protein. With the help of cryo-electron microscopy, researchers have now decoded the three-dimensional, molecular structure of the healthy human huntingtin protein. This now enables its functional analysis. An improved understanding of the structure and the function of the huntingtin protein could contribute to the development of new treatment methods in the future. The work of the researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried and Ulm University has now been published in the journal Nature" - Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Photograph: The Irish Times
A great article written in the Irish Times about Kathleen Lonsdale. Lonsdale used X-ray diffraction to prove that the benzene ring was flat, and was among the first to study the structure of hexachlorobenzene.
Do More With MiTeGen
Want easier harvesting? Need to ship crystals? We can help.
Combine samples in SPINE cryovials with the Unipuck to help users get samples to the synchrotron.
We've partnered with Carl Zeiss microscopy to provide microscope kits tailored to crystallographer's needs.
Working with membrane proteins? Get your lab setup to start crystallizing & harvesting easier.
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