A molecular biologist turned astronaut is due to decode DNA in space.

Kate Rubins, who studied Ebola and other deadly viruses before becoming an astronaut, will use a pocket-sized device to decode DNA in space.

U.S. astronaut Kate Rubins, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), gestures prior the launch of Soyuz MS space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, July 7, 2016.
(Dmitri Lovetsky/AP)

As the first professional virus-hunter in space, she will attempt to complete the first full-blown DNA decoding, or “sequencing,” in orbit.

She will be working with harmless test samples.

Screen grabbed image taken from NASA TV of a view of the earth as the Soyuz capsule carrying Major Tim Peake and his two crewmates which has released itself from the International Space Station and undocked.
(NASA TV/PA).

The device will be delivered to the International Space Station on the next SpaceX delivery. Liftoff is scheduled for Monday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Rubins said the benefits of DNA sequencing in space are huge, and it could also prove useful in remote locations on Earth.