The macromolecular crystallography beamlines at BESSY II of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin: Current status and perspectives
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For a little over a decade now, the Macromolecular Crystallography (MX) group at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has been operating three state-of-the-art synchrotron beamlines for MX at the BESSY II storage ring in Berlin. The three HZB-MX beamlines, BL14.1, BL14.2 and BL14.3, serve a stable and growing user community of currently more than 100 independent research groups from Berlin, Germany and Europe. Every year, the beamlines provide close to 200 days of MX-beamtime. Over time, the HZB-MX beamlines and endstations, in particular BL14.1, have been continually developed and upgraded and, since 2010, they operate as the most productive MX beamlines in Germany. The environment of the beamlines includes various ancillary equipment as well as additional facilities, such as office space adjacent to the beamlines, a sample preparation laboratory, a safety level 1 biology laboratory (HZB-MX BioLab) and all necessary computing resources. In this paper, the current status of the beamlines as well as the ongoing developments are described.