The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, have a keen interest in the development of FEL-based applications in structural biology, making full usage of the new FEL light sources, and in the development of state-of-the-art instrumentation to enhance the potential results of their scientific exploitation. For a brief introduction as to the possibilities for biological experiments at XFEL the reader is referred here.
A formal framework has been established by a Memorandum of Understanding between the EMBL and the XFEL signed in September 2011. Within this framework the EMBL, together with international collaborators, proposes to construct a biology infrastructure at the XFEL facility (expected completion in 2016) to enable biological experiments using the high brilliance, ultrashort pulse duration and high repetition rate coherent X-ray radiation. This facility is foreseen to be an integrated part of the current or forth-coming biological infrastructures at the DESY campus.
The proposed biological sample infrastructure facility will provide:
The biology infrastructure will specifically target and provide novel opportunities in diffractive imaging of:
Current expectations are that nano-crystallography will provide high-resolution diffraction data sets using serial crystallography from small (sub-micron) samples. Coherent X-ray imaging of identical or non-identical single-particle objects will allow the collection of multiple 2D projections, which may then be reassembled into a high-resolution (1-10 nm) image of the sample (large macromolecular complexes, organelles and whole cells).
In order to ensure efficient operation of the facility and provide optimal services for the international biological community we seek your input to identify the requirements necessary to support these novel biological imaging experiments.
The results of this survey will be used to identify the most pressing needs of the international community that should be taken into account during planning and construction of the infrastructure.