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Molecular biology

LGC scientists are using high accuracy nucleic acids measurements to analyse some of the major threats and challenges of modern society. We are responsible for pioneering research into the determination of species authenticity, food safety and fraud detection, as well as clinical research in areas such as cancer and microbial diagnostics.

We are at the forefront of research to progress biomeasurement comparability and achieve metrological traceability where possible and are experienced at assigning measurement uncertainty values for nucleic acid measurements. 

Our capabilities include:

  • High accuracy quantification of nucleic acids and DNA reference material certification using digital PCR
  • Quantitative and qualitative real-time PCR
  • High accuracy Next Generation Sequencing
  • Epigenetic analysis (methylation and miRNA analysis)


  • We have the following instrumentation: 

  • Roche GS Junior (454) sequencing platform
  • Fluidigm BioMark microfluidic digital or dynamic PCR platform
  • ABI 7900HT Fast Real Time PCR system
  • Bio-Rad CFX100 Real-time PCR system
  • Bio-Rad QX200 droplet PCR system
  • Agilent 2100 Bioanalyser
  • Agilent G2505B Microarray scanner
  • Shel lab Mircoarray hybridisation oven
  • Nanodrop ND-1000 Spectrophotometer
  • Aushon Cirascan
  • MSD-Sector Imager 6000
The team analyses a wide range of materials covering many applications, which include:

  • Infectious disease diagnostics - accurate molecular methods for measurement of pathogens and antimicrobial resistance
  • Underpinning measurements made in stratified medicines and gene expression biomarker profiling
  • Non-invasive diagnostics, e.g. highly sensitive (trace) cell-free DNA cancer and foetal biomarker detection
  • Food safety, e.g. allergen detection and authenticity/contamination of food
  • Support for regulation and enforcement e.g. GMO detection (for which we have ISO17025 accreditation)

Contact us

For further information contact the National Measurement Laboratory.

Sign up to the LGC NML eNewsletter to get regular updates on our activities.

Download our latest Annual Review.

Current developments

New digital PCR reporting guidelines for molecular diagnostics.


Development of a sensitive and accurate DNA based screening approach for the detection of allergenic nuts in food.