Mail-in data collection service at SPring-8 protein crystallography beamline

SPring-8/JASRI* SPring-8/RIKEN**
â—‹Kazuya Hasegawa* Nobuo Okazaki* Go Ueno** Hironori Murakami** Yuji Fukumoto** Hisanobu Sakai* Masaki Yamamoto**

Mail-in data collection is a new service at synchrotron facilities that beamline operator conduct data collection for samples sent from users via the home-delivery services. It's a quite convenient system for most users because they can acquire experimental data with synchrotron radiation without visiting synchrotron facilities. We have already routinely operated mail-in data collection service for academic users at protein crystallography beamline at SPring-8 since September 2005. And, the commercial mail-in service especially targeting pharmaceutical industry has started in July of this year in cooperation with five intermediate private companies.
Characteristic feature of our mail-in service is making use of sample changer SPACE. Users send crystals using a special sample tray for SPACE. Specially developed tool kit is available to mount crystals on the sample tray and to pack it in the dry-shipper. Sample information, experimental conditions, and collected diffraction images are shared between users' laboratory and SPring-8 via a beamline database D-Cha which is composed of relational database and Web interface. Each user gets user account for D-Cha and can only access to the permitted data for that account. Before shipping sample, users attach barcode label indicating 11 digits tray ID on the sample tray and register the ID on D-Cha. By using tray ID, there is no afraid to mix up users' samples at beamline. In commercial mail-in service, users are not asked to disclose details of protein samples except for minimum safety information. Therefore, pharmaceutical companies can apply our service without taking risks of leakage of business secrets.