Team:BYUProvo/Safety

From 2012.igem.org

Team BYU Provo

1) Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of: researcher safety,public safety, or environmental safety?

Research Safety

Brigham Young University has set protocols aimed at ensuring student safety in the laboratory. Each of our BYU iGEM team members has completed the BYU Lifesciences general laboratory safety certification, which consists of an online instructional training and exam (http:/ytrain.byu.edu). Students are required to wear long pants and close-toed, waterproof shoes and follow safety precautions for working with chemicals and biological agents (protective clothing including gloves, etc.). They are prohibited from eating in laboratory rooms. The labs are kept locked when not in use and are subjected to random inspections to ensure that safety procedures are followed.

All biological agents we are working with are BSL1 (E. coli K12 or DH5α) or BSL2 (Vibrio cholera, ATCC 14035). We have contacted a member of the BYU IBC committee and submitted a written description of our project (Professor Rich Robison of the BYU Microbiology and Molecular Biology department). Dr. Julianne Grose, our instructor, has received BYU approval to work with BSL-2 reagents. Our laboratory room has also been approved for BSL-2 lab work, with notification posted outside the room. We have followed current safety measures for disposing of biological samples in biohazard waste as well as cleaning glassware and desktops with bleach/ethanol.

All BioBrick parts created and used are non-hazardous and have been contained to the lab.

Public Safety

Everything we currently work with is in a contained lab and only proof of concept experiments have been performed.

Environmental Safety

The chemicals and biohazards are disposed of according to BYU protocols. As stated above, laboratory rooms are kept locked when not in use and are subjected to random inspections to ensure that safety procedures are followed. If Cholera was released into the environment, it could be detrimental, thus we have counseled with a Cholera expert, Dr. Rich Robison, for proper disposal.


2) Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year raise any safety issues? If yes,

Did you document these issues in the Registry?

How did you manage to handle the safety issue?

How could other teams learn from your experience?

All of the BioBricks we have created are safe and do not pose any safety risks inside the lab. We properly dispose of any biological waste through BYU Waste Management.


3) Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?

If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project?

If no, which specific biosafety rules or guidelines do you have to consider in your country?

Yes. We operate under the rules and guidelines as outlined on the BYU Life Science’s Safety Page: http://lifesciences.byu.edu/safety/Home.aspx. Also, an IBC application must be filled out for recombinant DNA. We have filed out this IBC report and our project has been approved by Edwin Jackson, the Research Safety Officer of the BYU Biosafety Committee. http://orca.byu.edu/IBC/IBCOverview.aspx


4) Do you have any other ideas how to deal with safety issues that could be useful for future iGEM competitions? How could parts, devices and systems be made even safer through biosafety engineering?

A Youtube video or podcast about safety regulations and potential issues would be useful for new teams to review each year before beginning work on their projects.

We would recommend that future iGEM teams contact their individual waste management offices in order to be taught the proper disposal methods of biological wastes. This would increase safety and lower the risk of environmental contamination.

We also feel that every iGEM team, when registering, should certify that they have read the iGEM safety page (http://igem.org/Safety) discuss it as a group, and agree to comply to the regulations found therein.