iGEM CyanoBarrier -Wiki Safety
Safety Form-Part 1: Overview
-Clean the used tools (eg. glued utensils, boards, combs, conical flasks) and place them on the table
-Adjust the pipettes to the maximum range and put them back on the shelf
SAFE PROJECT DESIGN
For the safety of our team members, we designed this project to be as safe as possible. In order to minimize the risks, we arranged for several experienced doctors to conduct our experiment. In addition, iGEM classified microorganisms into four Risk Groups, and biological laboratories are classified into four corresponding Safety Levels. Our experiment belongs to Risk Group 1 which contains non-pathogenic organisms like E. coli K-12. We are engineering E. coli to express our target protein, mlrA, which can degrade microcystin and help to protect environment in the future. The whole project is not harmful to the human body.
We plan to use several strains of E. coli with different competence cells, such as BL21(DE3), and DH5a. They basically will not cause disease in healthy adult humans. However, they are engineered to resist certain antibiotics, such as kanamycin. As a result, if they are released into the nature, they might transfer antibiotic resistance to wild strains, then resulting in higher resistance of bacteria and less effective treatment of bacterial infection using antibiotics. To prevent this huge risk, we decide to sterilize the bacteria cultures before pouring them into the drain. We also bought Microcystin that might be harmful to the human body to make this experiment, and we're very careful about whether they get on people's bodies. Hence, we are required to wear white coats and gloves while we are doing that part, and we need to work on clean benches to prevent bacteria from entering our experimental samples.
Due to the properties of our project, we have to contact with microorganisms. Thus, we have several rules in the laboratory, but are not limited to:
Adjust the pipettes to the maximum range and put them back on the shelf.
Samples (PCR products, DNA recovery products, enzyme products, plasmids), buffers, markers, and enzymes need to be returned to the refrigerator.
The cutting blade is placed in a special conical flask.
Make sure ultra-clean workbench is off. (lights off, uv off) Throw the used gloves into the trash can.
Plates for the cultivation of E. coil need to be placed in incubators at 37℃.
Clean the used tools (eg. glued utensils, boards, combs, conical flasks) and place them on the table.
Eating and drinking are prohibited in the laboratory.
The water in the ice box needs to be dumped.
All experimenters must wear white coats.
We tried to avoid using all dangerous chemicals, so we have restricted the use of them. They must be clearly placed in marked areas in the laboratory. Before when doing this type of experiment, we usually use Ethidium bromide (EB) which is a highly sensitive fluorescent stain for the observation of DNA in agarose and polyacrylamide gels, but it has toxicity and would be harmful to the human body. As a result, we decided to replace it with Gelred which is low-toxic and ultra-stable fluorescent nucleic acid gel staining reagent. In addition, its water-soluble stain is safely certified by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and waste can be poured directly into the sewer. It will not cause any environmental pollution.