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The Environmental Sample Processor

The Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) is an underwater robotic laboratory that can perform DNA analysis and other biological tests automatically. This photograph shows the ESP (inside its titanium pressure casing) being inspected in the MBARI test tank. The ESP has been used to monitor marine bacteria, microscopic mussel and barnacle larvae, and marine algae, including some that cause toxic "red tides." Future versions of this instrument will be deployed at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and modified for use on other planets.

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