The Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany is updating its x-ray crystallography facility with Rigaku protein crystallography and automated crystallization systems, Rigaku Americas Corp. of The Woodlands, Texas, announced this week. "First, we decided to replace two 19-year-old Rigaku RU200 x-ray sources with a new powerful, state-of-the-art x-ray generator with optics and a CCD detector. Second, a fully automatic crystallization system was required that would be able to prepare 96 well-crystallization plates with a pre-selected screen, store them at a chosen temperature, and image the wells on a regular basis," said Juergen Koepke, PhD, staff scientist at the institute. He said the institute is now looking into the possibility of adding a new room dedicated to the CrystalMation, an automatic crystallization system, so an integration module long enough to serve six incubators could be set up. The institute received funding for the new equipment from the BMBF (Germany Ministry of Education and Research). Upgrading and expanding the x-ray crystallography facility will make it one of seven core European centers for structural biology and was part of an initiative by ESFRI-INSTRUCT (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures -- Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure). Hartmut Michel, winner of Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1988, is leading the project.