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The mission of the Life Science and Biomedical Technology Research (LSBR) resource at the National Synchrotron Light Source II is to support the life sciences community in its quest to understand complex biological systems. LSBR provides expert and non-expert researchers the resources necessary to conduct x-ray-based experiments at a world-class facility. LSBR focuses on macromolecular crystallography and small-angle X-ray scattering. Partnering with other NSLS-II beamlines, we also exploit complementary methods such as x-ray spectroscopy, infrared microspectroscopy, and soft x-ray imaging.

Techniques and Facilities

Macromolecular crystallography constitutes one of the core areas of scientific research exploiting technology to its extremes. Developing new methods and applications, the suite of beamlines operated by the LSBR caters to both academic and biotechnology groups. Highly automated, AMX explores the limits of high-throughput, while FMX provides micrometer-sized beams to allow researchers to explore serial crystallography besides XFEL-driven methods. 

Complementary to x-ray crystallography, small- and wide- angle x-ray scattering provides structural information from flexible systems. Devoted to high throughput scattering of biological molecules LIX will allow for fast characterization of solutions and partially ordered arrays providing information on conformational changes or protein folding. The high flux coupled to time measurements will yield dynamical information on macromolecular motions.  

X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) uses the x-ray excitation of core electrons of metal atoms with detection of resulting x-ray fluorescence (XF) as in extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES). Provides active site analysis for insights into metal site structure and function. XAS methods are being exploited in conjunction with the Sub-micron Resolution Spectroscopy (SRX) beamline and Tender x-ray Absorption Spectroscopy and Imaging. X-ray footprinting (XFP) will be operated part time for XAS.

Microbeam x-ray scattering mapping on LIX can deliver valuable complementary information to chemical imaging while ptychography takes advantage of the already high coherence of the beam allowing cell structure studies. One of the LSBR aims is imaging frozen, hydrated, biological cells and tissues in their native state such that both chemical and structural information are obtained with nanoscale resolution and sub-micromolar elemental detection sensitivity in 3D.

The Life Science Biomedical Technology Research resource is primarily supported by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) through a Biomedical Technology Research Resource P41 grant (P41GM111244), and by the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research (KP1605010). As a National Synchrotron Light Source II facility resource at Brookhaven National Laboratory, work performed at the LSBR is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences Program under contract number and DE-SC0012704 (KC0401040).

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