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News

e-HTPX: e-Science resource for high-throughput protein crystallography

CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory : 02 September, 2005  (New Product)
DARTS is preparing to offer yet another service to science and industry, namely e-HTPX; an e-science resource for high-throughput protein crystallography. e-HTPX will provide an automated procedure for protein structure determination using X-ray crystallography in a high throughput mode. In addition, e-HTPX will provide access to instruments, databases and low-cost, high quality parallel computing.
DARTS is preparing to offer yet another service to science and industry, namely e-HTPX; an e-science resource for high-throughput protein crystallography.

e-HTPX will provide an automated procedure for protein structure determination using X-ray crystallography in a high throughput mode. In addition, e-HTPX will provide access to instruments, databases and low-cost, high quality parallel computing.

As any user knows, there are several major time-consuming steps involved in a protein crystallography project:

Selection of protein target
Protein production
Crystallisation of protein
Data collection
Phasing
Protein structure determination
Submission of model into protein databank
Structural analysis
e-HTPX aims to revolutionise this process by offering a single interface from which users can initiate, plan, direct and document their experiment either locally or remotely from a desktop computer.

Immediate benefits of the service include:

Reduction in travel costs - users no longer have to travel to a synchrotron to perform their experiments.
No special expertise required - users do not have to be protein crystallographers to access the service.
Single user interface - users can interface e-HTPX through web-based technology and define their requirements on-line (eg, completion of safety forms, specification of diffraction plan, shipping information etc).
Automatic tracking of experiments - using a series of barcodes, users can track the progress of their experiments from receipt of crystals to structure analysis.
Automatic recording of data - users no longer have to interrupt their experiments to record conditions and results. Automatic recording of data means that experiments may be accurately replicated time and time again.
Automatic phasing - as many as ten proteins can be checked at any one time during the phasing stage, almost impossible to achieve for the single user.
Continuous access - e-HTPX will operate 24 hours a day.
Security, confidentiality and reliability of data lie at the heart of the e-HTPX project. For further background and technical information please access the e-HTPX website

DARTS will be looking to provide commercial use of e-HTPX during the middle part of 2006, and will be offering e-HTPX on a trial basis towards the end of 2005. Any user who wishes to take part in trials of the project, please contact the e-HTPX Industrial Liaison Coordinator
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