Biology: Crystallographic Studies of Biohazards (Biosafety Level 2)

AS OF FEBRUARY 6, 2017, BIOCARS FACILITY IS DECOMMISSIONED AS A BSL-3 LABORATORY. BIOCARS IS NOW APPROVED FOR RESEARCH UP TO THE BSL-2 LEVEL.

BioCARS is a National User Facility for macromolecular crystallography. It provides state-of-the art facilities and scientific and technical support for standard X-ray diffraction techniques (such as MAD). But the facility is also designed for two special tasks that set it apart from other centers for macromolecular crystallography at the APS and nationwide. The BioCARS insertion device beamline 14-ID can serve as both monochromatic and polychromatic X-ray source. The polychromatic capability is essential for conducting time-resolved X-ray diffraction experiments that utilize the Laue technique. These experiments result in molecular movies depicting biologically important macromolecules as they perform their function. 

Agents classified as BSL-2 involve a broad range of indigenous moderate-risk agents that are present in the community and associated with human disease of varying severity. Immunization or treatment for these agents is available. Examples include: measles virus, Salmonellae and Hepatitis B virus.

BioCARS Biosafety Cabinet

Diffraction pattern of a HRV-14 crystal (courtesy of Michael Rossmann, Purdue University)