Compact Dynamic Beamstop (CDBS)

Organization: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Year: 2016

In the past 20 years, protein crystallography has become a critical tool in the development of groundbreaking new therapies for cancer, HIV, TB, Ebola and a host of other life-threatening diseases. As crystallographers seek to tackle ever more challenging problems in microbiology, the escalating difficulty of producing protein crystals of both sufficient quantity and quality has become a critical roadblock to further progress. The CDBS allows scientists to extract the maximum possible amount of data from each precious protein crystal by carefully monitoring and optimizing the X-ray dose, and is a breakthrough tool to counteract the limited supply of protein crystals. The Compact Dynamic Beamstop?(CDBS) design is simple, compact, easily commercialized, customizable for a wide variety of X-ray scattering experiments, and unique in its capabilities to provide information about X-ray beams in real time without interfering with the collection of data on precious samples. Its potential is immense, and it promises to accelerate the pace of research in a field that impacts the lives of people in a way that few other disciplines can hope to match.