BioCARS BM-C station has recently undergone a complete makeover with acquisition of the ADSC Q315 detector. This large area detector (315mm � 315mm) with a fast readout (1 sec) is well suited for the BM-C station which is optimized for work with macromolecular crystals with large unit cells (such as viruses) and for atomic resolution data collection.

The new detector support system, designed by Larry Rock Design and BioCARS beamline scientist Reinhard Pahl, accommodates sample-to-detector distances from 150mm to 1000mm and detector tilt angles up to 30°. At a wavelength of 0.9Å and a crystal-to-detector distance of 150mm, data with a resolution of 1Å can be collected without lifting or tilting of the detector.

Shortly after the installation of the new station equipment in March 2004, a user group already successfully collected a data set with 0.7Å resolution. In an effort lead by beamline scientist Robert Henning, all motions required for data collection are now fully automated and the station is prepared for the future integration of a sample mounting robot. In addition, this and the other two BioCARS stations will serve the macromolecular user community as the only BSL-2/3 Facility at a synchrotron in the US.