Team:AUC Turkey/Safety

From 2012hs.igem.org

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Safety is of utmost importance in projects involving synthetic biology. Not only must the welfare of scientific and non-scientific staff within the department be considered, but also that of the wider community. Safety procedures have been prioritised from the beginning of our project and we have taken care to pick a project that poses minimal biosafety risks even in the event of accidental release from our laboratory.


1)Researcher Safety

Would the materials used in your project and/or your final product pose risks to the safety and health of team members or others in the lab?

Before beginning project:

  • We took lab safety lessons.
Our instructors made a presentation on lab safety. Some of the instructions are listed below:
1)Lab coats should always be worn during experiments.
2)According to the experiment, gloves and protective glasses should be worn.
3)The lab coats and gloves used in the lab should not leave it.
4)All eating, drinking should be done out of the lab. Every food substance should stay out of the lab.
5)Broken and fractured material should not be used.
6)Tasting and smelling is strictly forbidden.
7)Scars and bruises should be covered with a bad-aid to prevent infections.
8)The lab enviroment should be as quiet as possible since concentration is essential in experiments.
9)All beakers and containers should be covered so that the substances in them do not get contaminated.
10)All solid substances should be taken with steril equipment. After this, the equipment should be washed.
11)Organic solvents should not be poured into the sink.
12)Substances containing toxic gas should be used in a fume hood.
13)UV projector should only be used while wearing protective glasses.
  • We were keen on choosing a project with no harm.

E.coli are harmless bacteria. This property is one of the main factors of why E.coli are used in experiments. We also used E.coli for our safety.

When we look at FreshEcoli, the substances released show absolutely no toxicity. The substances produced by FreshEcoli are Trimethylamine, Geraniol and the enzyme FMO3. Trimethylamine gives out fish odor which is present in fish. Geraniol is the main aroma compound of the rose. FMO3 is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of trimethylamine in our body. When we look at these substances, we can see that they are already present in our bodies or the substances we consume. This fact proves that FreshEcoli are safe for laboratory enviroment and for experiments.


2)Enviromental Safety

  • None of the substances produced by FreshEcoli are in no way toxic. This means that even if they can actually be released into the enviroment, they won't be producing any harm.
  • The parts of FreshEcoli are optimized and this will prevent
  • E. Coli strains TOP10 and BL1 have very limited ability to survive outside the laboratory; so that, it would be unable to survive or disseminate. Therefore, there is no specific environmental risk associated with the E. coli strains. All bacterial wastes are kept in 10% bleaching solution for one day, and then, are autoclaved to be sterilized.

3)Public Safety

  • All of our team members are trained for safety of the laboratory rules and use mask and gloves when dealing with

bacteria. Besides all experiments are performed in synthetic laboratory designated by Fatih University Medical School and no material is carried out of the laboratory.

  • Our project carries no pathogenicity, infectivity, toxicity or any other security issues. Nothing could be used maliciously in our project. The materials we use are commonly used in experimental procedures in various laboratories all over the world and all are harmless and do not pose any threat to environment and public as well as security concerns.

Throughout the project, we used the Escherichia coli strains Top10 and BL1. Wild-type E. coli is classified as hazard group 2 pathogen by the UK Advisory Committee on the Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP)