IDSL – The ORIGINS Ice, Dust and Sequencing Laboratory

Decoding the first steps of life

The Ice, Dust and Sequencing Lab facility (IDSL) provides modern techniques of molecular synthesis, analysis, high throughput sequencing, microfluidic experiment and vacuum low temperature experiments. Conveniently located next to the LMU Physics and Biophysics building in Munich, IDSL acts as a central crystallisation point for experiments between all biophysics/physics labs. It provides access to techniques, which are very hard to establish by individual labs and will be guided by dedicated expert lab technicians. The lab equipment includes mini-cryostats with optical access, simple proton, electron and UV sources, full serviced sequencing facilities through the Genecentre, mass spectrometry with MALDI Q-TOF and Orbitrap, in house synthesis of oligonucleotides with high-performance liquid chromatography purification and a microfluidic platform with optical precision 3D printers. 

The Ice, Dust and Sequencing Laboratory (IDSL) will give broad support for all biophysical experiments in search for the initial conditions of life. It will create the physicochemical basis to drive the first primitive replication and selection cycle in a non-equilibrium setting. The experiments will elucidate the necessary conditions to let life emerge. Demonstrating sequence copying for timespans longer than the lifetime of DNA and RNA, we aim to show how this information can be maintained by replication over generations.