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The EMBL Hamburg Outstation currently operates five synchrotron beamlines for protein crystallography. The strongest of these beamlines is the fixed-energy beamline BW7B which receives about half of the radiation (1.5 mrad) from a 56 pole wiggler located at the DORIS III storage ring at the German synchrotron facility DESY. Over the last years this beamline has been upgraded and equipped with a fully automated crystallographic end-station and a robotic sample changer. The current set-up allows for remote operation, controlled from the user's area, of sample mounting, centering and data collection of pre-frozen crystals mounted in Hampton-type cryovials on magnetic caps. New software and intuitive graphical user interfaces have been developed that control the complete beamline set-up. Furthermore, algorithms for automatic sample centering based on UV fluorescence are being developed and combined with strategy programs in order to further automate the collection of entire diffraction data sets.

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