Team:Carnegie Mellon/Safety


Killer Red

Safety information

Do the biological materials used in your lab work pose any of the following risks? Please describe.

  • Risks to the safety and health of team members or others working in the lab?
    No. KillerRed produces reactive oxygen species when photobleached and is able to kill single cells and deactivate proteins in close proximity but no health risk is present in dealing with it.
  • Risks to the safety and health of the general public, if released by design or by accident?
    No. Expression of KillerRed is low without induction by IPTG and is not toxic to humans.
  • Risks to the environment, if released by design or by accident?
    No. Under exposure to high-intensity light, reactive oxygen species may be produced, resulting in an inactivated culture
  • Risks to security through malicious misuse by individuals, groups, or countries?
    No. The human immune system uses reactive oxygen species to fight bacterial infections. It is not toxic to humans.

If your project moved from a small-scale lab study to become widely used as a commercial/industrial product, what new risks might arise? Also, what risks might arise if the knowledge you generate or the methods you develop became widely available?

Few, if any, foreseeable risks would arise. Our system employs a lambda phage that is specific for E. coli that may be used to kill bacteria under specific conditions (including 42ºC and photobleaching with 585nm light).

Does your project include any design features to address safety risks? (For example: kill switches, auxotrophic chassis, etc.) Note that including such features is not mandatory to participate in iGEM, but many groups choose to include them.

The system itself is a kill switch and it is possible to utilize it in case of accidental exposure.

What safety training have you received (or plan to receive in the future)? Provide a brief description, and a link to your institution’s safety training requirements, if available.

All members of the team have received chemical and biosafety training through our university's Environmental, Health and Safety department.

Under what biosafety provisions will / do you work?

  • Please provide a link to your institution biosafety guidelines.
  • Does your institution have an Institutional Biosafety Committee, or an equivalent group? If yes, have you discussed your project with them? Describe any concerns they raised with your project, and any changes you made to your project plan based on their review.
    We have received approval for use of recombinant DNA through our Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Does your country have national biosafety regulations or guidelines? If so, please provide a link to these regulations or guidelines if possible.
  • According to the WHO Biosafety Manual, what is the BioSafety Level rating of your lab? (Check the summary table on page 3, and the fuller description that starts on page 9.) If your lab does not fit neatly into category 1, 2, 3, or 4, please describe its safety features.
    Our lab is rated for BSL 2
  • What is the Risk Group of your chassis organism(s)? If it does not match the BSL rating of your laboratory, please explain what additional safety measures you are taking.
    Our chassis organisms are biosafety level 1. No additional measures are required.

  • Safety forms were approved on 9/18/13 by Julie McNamara and David Lloyd.

    We were given approval for the use of recombinant DNA molecules using Biosafety Level 1 (BSL-2) practices and containment by Carnegie Mellon University’s Institutional Biosafety Committee