Microbial-Contaminant Interactions Laboratory — Boulder, Colorado
Bacteria contained in filter chambers
A USGS scientist prepares a sample to test the effect of antibiotics
Science Center Objects
About the Laboratory
The microbiologists at the Microbial-Contaminant Interactions Laboratory (MCIL) conduct research involving fate and transport of pathogens and interactions of microorganisms with chemical contaminants in aquatic systems that can impact the health of humans and other organisms. The research is applied to a wide variety of environmental media (e.g. lakes, rivers, sediment-water interfaces and karst-limestone, fractured rock, and granular aquifers).
Key Analytical Capabilities
- Class 2 Biological Safety Laboratory for pathogen studies
- Identification/quantification of functional genes
- 1- and 2-D transport assays of microbial transport
- Enumerations of virus particles, bacteria, protozoa
- Microbial identifications
- Molecular genetics-based community structure
- Brookhaven Zetameter† (determining electrophoteic mobilities/surface charge of microorganisms)
- Laser-driven flow cytometer for quantification, sizing, and morphology determinations of microorganisms)
- Biorad† qPCR for amplification of nucleic acid sequences
- Epipfluoresce microcroscope with computer-coupled image analysis (enumerations of fluorochrome-labeled microorganisms)
- Gel electrophoresis for comparison of DNA samples
- Triaxial cells for examining flow characteristics in rock cores.
† Hypertext links to non-USGS products and services; and the use of trade names, trademarks, company names, or other references to non-USGS products and services are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or warranty by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government.