1.    Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of:
A.    Researcher safety,
B.    Public safety, or
C.    Environmental safety?

A= The answer for this question, is based principally, in the fact that we are working in a Basic-Biosafety level 2 Laboratory (INDICASAT-AIP), with a DNA modified Escherichia coli bacterium, and a native Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium, corresponding to the Risk Group 2 (moderate individual risk, low community risk); a pathogen that can cause human or animal disease but is unlikely to be a serious hazard to laboratory workers, the community, livestock or the environment. Laboratory exposures may cause serious infection, but effective treatment and preventive measures are available and the risk of spread of infection is limited.
According to the World Health Organization, on their Public Laboratory Biosafety Manual of 2004, Recombinant DNA technology involves combining genetic material from different sources thereby creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that may have never existed in nature before.
First of all, we need to understand that Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli are opportunistic microorganisms (they have the property of infect inmunocompromised individuals).
Like we mention above, that kind of genetically modified organism (GMO) does not represent a serious hazard to laboratory workers, the community, livestock or the environment, but is important to understand that we should have care everytime we are using that kind of microorganisms because laboratory exposures may cause serious infections; basically digestive, urogenital or pulmonar system´s infections. For this reason, we evaluated the properties of the donor microorganism, the nature of the DNA sequences that was transferred, the properties of the recipient organism and the properties of the environment.

2. Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year raise any safety issues? If yes,
A.    did you document these issues in the Registry?
B.    how did you manage to handle the safety issue?
C.    How could other teams learn from your experience?

A= This year 2012, we are trying to get a new Biobrick of Rhamnose, that is a six carbons monosaccharide, found on bacteria natural habitats, like a component for the biosynthesis of Rhamnolipid. The DNA sequence for the biosynthesis of Rhamnose is a natural structure in Pseudomonas aeruginosa´s genome. We´ll obtain this DNA sequence from an Environmental P. aeruginosa strain, and finally We´ll put this sequence on an expression platform.
Now, we know that Rhamnose is an organic component of all kind of ecosystem, for this reason rhamnose does not represent a hazard for the human, animal or environment life.

3.    Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?
A.    If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project?
B.    If no, which specific biosafety rules or guidelines do you have to consider in your country?

A= In our institution doesn´t exist any committee or biosafety group, but we have some rules or guidelines for work with biological hazards, we learned on INDICASAT-AIP Laboratories some kind of general lab procedures (standard operating procedures SOPs) like :
"    Autoclave all the instruments that have contact with biologic compounds before discard.
"    Put all the trash that had contact with biologic compounds in a proper bag (designed red bags for hazardous materials).
"    Use biological safety cabinets (with HEPA filters) when you are using a hazard material. Clean the cabinet before and after you use it.
"    Discard the cutting material on adequate recipients (Plastic recipients), before and after autoclave.
"    Use a lab coat always! And gloves.
"    Clean everything (sterilize) with alcohol (70%) and Chlorine solution (15%).

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?

For future iGEM competitions will be really useful, in the deal with safety issues, the use of prepared kits by the same competition (of course according with the standards protocols you are using), not commercial kits! We talk about kits developed by iGEM directions. Such as: Miniprep Kits, Purification and Mutagenesis Kits, etc. that ensures a low environmental risk, an excellent discard of hazard materials such as liquids and aerosols, decreasing simultaneously the health risk of all the students that are involved in iGEM´s Competitions.