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BioSAXS Essentials 7 training course now complete!

Biological Small Angle X-ray Solution Scattering (BioSAXS) is a popular method that yields valuable structural information from solutions of biomolecules. MacCHESS maintains a state-of-the-art BioSAXS facility with automated sample loading, in-line chromatography, and specialized setups for time-resolved and high-pressure measurements. We offer annual training workshops and maintain the widely-used open-source data processing software RAW.

2016 G1 BioSAXS

BioSAXS setup at G1.

BioSAXS News

The Winter 2017 BioSAXS running period starts November 1 this year and runs until November 21. Be sure to reserve your beamtime as soon as possible while slots are still available. We’ve been busy with lots of improvements this Summer … you might not even recognize G1!

We have a new safety interlock system that uses a touch screen. No more keys! The new magnetic lock will automatically latch as soon as you close the door. The station control area is greatly simplified and we’ve freed up considerable desk space.

We have a brand new AKTA Pure system for use in SEC-SAXS with 3-wavelength detection, updated software, and bubble detection for improved column safety.

We will be testing our new Compound Refractive Lens (CRL) system for microfocus. We expect that microfocus beams will greatly enhance our developing time-resolved BioSAXS program by allowing us to push to smaller timescales.

Our RAW software for data processing continues to grow by leaps and bounds and is being adopted by many other facilities worldwide. RAW is a multi-platform, free, open source package that can run efficiently on a personal laptop. The software can handle some 27 different detector image formats (including PILATUS TIFF and CBF types), and has sophisticated masking and beamstop normalization capabilities. Beyond the requisite standard plots and Guinier analysis, RAW provides 4 different types of molecular weight estimates, including built-in absolute scale. Two different indirect Fourier transform methods are implemented (GNOM and BIFT), and the user interface is seamlessly integrated with the most widely used components of the popular ATSAS suite, including DAMMIF (shape reconstruction) and the new AMBIMETER program for determining shape ambiguity. RAW also supports the collection and processing of SEC-SAXS data. We’ve made multiple new improvements including automatic profile comparisons for merging multiple exposures, advanced processing for size-exclusion chromatography, normalized Kratky plots, and much more: all carefully documented for your ease of use.

Check out our new publication on RAW:

Full documentation, including a printable manual and YouTube videos can be found on SourceForge as well as on this website:

Looking forward to seeing you all this Winter!!

-Richard Gillilan and Jesse Hopkins

BioSAXS data collection: HOWTO (video)

How to apply for BioSAXS time

Users interested in trying BioSAXS may apply for time through the express-mode proposal mechanism.  Visit:


BioSAXS Essentials 6 Workshop

BioSAXS Essentials 6 Workshop, May 2016,
YouTube, Web. 24 Aug. 2016.


  • Acerbo, A. S., M. J. Cook and R. E. Gillilan (2015). "Upgrade of MacCHESS facility for X-ray scattering of biological macromolecules in solution." Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 22(1): 180-186
  • Skou, S., R. E. Gillilan and N. Ando (2014). "Synchrotron-based small-angle X-ray scattering of proteins in solution." Nature Protocols 9(7): 1727-1739
  • Gillilan R., C. M., Temnykh G., Møller M., Nielsen S. (2013). "CHIPS AND ROBOTS: SCREENING, MIXING, AND DIALYSIS ON BIOSAXS BEAMLINES." Transactions of the ACA 44: 40-50
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  • Mertens, H. D. T. and D. I. Svergun (2010). Structural characterization of proteins and complexes using small-angle X-ray solution scattering. Journal of Structural Biology, 172(1): 128-141
  • Svergun, D. I. and M. H. J. Koch (2003). Small-angle scattering studies of biological macromolecules in solution. Reports on Progress in Physics, 66(10): 1735-1782