Team:UT Dallas/Safety


Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of:

  • researcher safety,
  • public safety, or
  • environmental safety?

We were careful to consider any safety risks that might be brought about by the ideas presented in our project. We have determined that none of our results pose significant risk of harm to either the researchers or the general public. None of our modified parts could be used maliciously because they were not designed to be harmful to humans or the environment. Some of the materials used in the process of finishing our project do pose safety risks. These materials include but are not limited to: Ethydium Bromide, UV transilluminators, and Voltage regulators. All of our researchers were trained in the use of these materials and followed all safety guidelines as given by the NIH.

  • 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?

None of the Biobricks we designed during the course of this project were designed to cause harm to humans or the environment. None of the Biobricks we used from the registry are known for having effects that might be harmful to either humans or the environment. We also altered two existing Biobricks, but the genes we added were not known for having any safety issues.

  • 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?

During the course of this project we operated under the guidelines given by the UT Institutional Biosafety Committee. We had a meeting with FBI representatives in which we presented our ideas to them and discussed the applications of our project as well as the safety issues related to our project. The representatives also asked us to create lab equipments by obtaining products from grocery or hardware stores. The purpose of creating lab equipments through these easily accessible products was to see if it’s possible to create lab equipments that might facilitate any unethical or unreported scientific research.