Life Sciences Laboratory (LSL)

Life Sciences Lab (LSL)

The Molecular and Microbiology Laboratories are engaged in payload processing, research, and technology development for the detection, enumeration, identification, and control of microorganisms and microbial processes for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS), space habitats, and space agricultural. The two laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation for DNA and RNA ‘Omics’ sequencing and molecular biology, bacterial enumeration, microbial identification, and biological imaging.  Advanced microbial monitoring technologies for wastewater processing systems, (include testing of a portable quantitative PCR unit for use on the ISS), assessing microbial loads and risks for food crops grown in space, and the microbial risks associated with solid waste management for human exploration of space.

SME Expertise: Omics interpretation and data sequencing of microbiome communities from multiple hosts or environmental habitats, including: water, soil, plants, and biofilm; Microbial culturing and microbe quantitation; Methods development for sanitization and laboratory safety.


  • Agilent Bioanalyzer 2100 Lab-on-a-Chip System
  • Protein Simple FluorChem Gel Imaging System
  • Applied Biosystems ABI 3130 Genetic Analyzer for DNA Sequencing
  • BioFire RAZOR EX TaqMan Portable PCR System
  • Biolog Phenotype Microarray (PMA) and Microbial Identification (MID) System
  • BioRad C1000 and C1000 CFX thermocyclers and RT-PCR Systems
  • Biotek Synergy HTTR Microplate Reader
  • Illumina MiSeq Next Generation Sequencer
  • Keyence 1000 – 3D imaging Microscope
  • MJ Research PTC-200 PCR Thermocyclers
  • Olympus SZX12 Stereo Zoom Microscope
  • OMNI International BeadRuptor
  • Promega Maxwell 16 DNA Isolation Instrumentation
  • Roche Lightcycler 480 RT-PCR System
  • Zeiss Axioskop2 Research Microscope with Olympus DP71 Digital Camera and Image-Pro software
  • General Lab Instrumentation includes High-speed analytical centrifuges (with refrigeration), incubators, biological safety cabinets, refrigerators/freezers for controlled-sample and reagent storage, Metabolite profiling and structural elucidation, Biochemistry work and sample preparation for instrumental analysis by UV/Vis Spectrometer and Multi-detection microplate readers.