The lab part of our project is basic molecule biology and cell biology experiment. There are not many problems in safety. The common sides in biological lab safety are biological hazard, chemical damage and physical danger.

Firstly, about biological hazard, the risk doesn’t exist in our lab mainly. The genes we need are GFP, RFP and AMP. They are harmless no matter when transcription and translation. Besides, the E. coli we used has already undergone mutation in gene level, which means the E. coli we used can’t cause any disease.

Secondly, as for chemical damage, there are some processes we have to care. The common method to check up the result of enzyme digestion and link of DNA fragment is electrophoresis. In a important process of electrophoresis, DNA is dyed by ethidium bromide. Ethidium bromide is a kind of poison. It is bad for our people health, and may cause cancer. So we must take care of it.

Finally, in physical danger, the most dangerous being is ultraviolet in the whole lab process, because other bacteria or fungi are forbidden appearing in some lab processes.

Besides, about the key questions, we can show our answers to you.

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

Researcher safety:

In Augest, Our team members, Shui Jing, Xianggeng Liu, Mengshi Zhang and Boyu Qie went to BGI to do experiments. On Augest 18th, we run a DNA gel and use the UV light to visualize the gel results. However, because we never used UV light before and did not know much about the safty guidline of UV light, we did not put the protection glass in front us, therefore, we are exposed to UV light for a few minutes. Although it is a small accedient, but we realized that we are lack of lab experience and should follow the instruction strictly.

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

Our new BioBricks do not raise any foreseeable safety issues. The Biobrick parts we made are transcription terminators, which is not translated into protein.

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?

Our university (SUSTC) is a brand new university which is established in 2011. So far, we do not have a biosafety committee in our institute. We performed our experiment mostly in another institute BGI nearby, their lab fulfill the requirement of Lab Biosafty level 2, which enable us to perform bacterial (E.coli) experiment safely. Many professor and assistant from biology and chemistry department of SUSTC care our safety and have checked the laboratory we used and the processes we have done. And they think the condition we were working is safe and reliable

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?

Here is our suggestions to iGEM headquarter:

Since many igem team members are very young, some of them may take lab course before. They are not familar with the lab safty guidline. Therefore, wet lab team members should take at least general biology lab course before they perform igem lab work.