JUN 29, 2020 9:00 AM PDT

Remote, autonomous molecular analytical laboratories at sea and on land

Sponsored by: MicroGem

Event Date & Time

DATE: June 29, 2020

TIME: 9:00am PT



Performing complex molecular biological analyses is typically confined to traditional laboratory settings. However, new technologies such as MBARI’s Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) are rapidly changing where and how we collect and process samples to detect and quantify particular species or substances. The ESP, also referred to as “an ecogenomic sensor,” fully automates the steps of sample collection, handling, and analysis in remote field settings, and disseminates results of analytical procedures in real-time via various communication networks (e.g. radio, cellular, satellite). 


In this webinar, Christina Preston, research specialist at MBARI, reviews the ESP’s analytical workflows for use in aquatic environments and addresses their unique requirements: reagents must remain stable over time at ambient conditions, there must be minimal sample manipulation, extractions must be performed quickly with minimal intervention, and extracts should be compatible with a wide range of downstream analytical methods (cELISA, qPCR, sequencing, etc.).

The latest version of the ESP, the 3rd Generation (3G) ESP, collects and either preserves samples for complex laboratory analyses (e.g., ‘omic sequencing, etc.) that are not easily done in remote locations, or analyzes samples in real-time, providing situational awareness of what species or substances of interest are in a given area over time.  Currently the 3G-ESP is integrated as a payload on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), making it the first ever “mobile ecogenomic sensor”.  This new class of robot is capable of searching for particular features (e.g. high chlorophyll waters), obtaining representative samples autonomously, over periods of weeks, regardless of weather or other constraints. This persistent, in-water sample collection and analytical capability has the potential to re-shape monitoring and management strategies of a wide range of organisms and environmental settings.


Learning Objectives:

  • Sample collection, preparation, and analysis under challenging environmental conditions
  • Introduction to a field-tested, automated approach for complex laboratory analyses in real-time
  • Introduction to a rapid, simplified workflow for nucleic acid extractions using thermophilic enzymes



LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this webinar, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit once you have viewed the webinar in its entirety.


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