The particular feature of the infrastructure is a high containment laboratory located on the 6th floor of the IJM, a floor which lacks other laboratories of molecular biology that could serve as sources for contamination. The laboratory has a gradient of positive air pressure decreasing from the interior rooms to the outer rooms in order to minimize the influx of environmental DNA. Inside of the laboratory, each experimental step is carried out in a dedicated working station or flow hood equipped with UV lamps and ozone-producing devices. The physical separation between the various experimental steps combined with very strict experimental procedures are designed to minimize DNA cross-contamination (shown in the film “The double helix as time machine”). This laboratory is dedicated to the analysis of ancient samples and its design allows the reliable analysis of single ancient DNA molecules, which is performed in associated laboratories on the 5th floor.
The associated laboratories on the 5th floor guarantee that the various experimental steps are physically separated, aiding in avoiding cross-contamination. In this way, all pre-PCR steps are performed in different laboratories than the post-PCR steps.