Team:Queens Canada/Safety


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Safety Questions

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

researcher safety?

The potential carcinogen and mutagen Ethidium Bromide was used during the process of gel electrophoresis. Standard lab safety protocols were followed when handling this substance, which includes wearing appropriate safety equipment as well as properly disposing or cleaning of contaminated material.

Because our project has potential bioremediation applications, we needed to deal with potentially harmful chemicals in our characterization process. A strong example would be the characterization our biobrick containing the enzyme haloalkane dehalogenase, which degrades 1,2-dichloroethane. Appropriate safety measures were taken when handling these substances, based on both the advice of our lab technicians and the MSDS.

We also ensured our safety through various education and preventative measures such as training for all lab members.

public safety?

While certain strains of E.Coli may be pathogenic and dangerous, the lab strains that we use are non-pathogenic and are therefore not hazardous to public safety. Even though this is the case, we work carefully and treat these organisms as if they were pathogenic, to ensure safety.

environmental safety?

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

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?

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?

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?