Team:NJU NJUT China/safety


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Safety Information for Our Team

We carried out our project on the campus of Nanjing University, in the biological experimental center . All of our work was completed in biosafety level (BSL) 1 labs, because all of the organisms (e.g., E.coli K12, E.coli TOP10)we used in our lab belongs to Risk Group 1 and they posed no detriment to the researchers and environment when handled under the basic biosafety guidelines.

1.Would the biological materials used in your lab work rise any risk to the safety and health in the terms of Team members and others working in the lab,

All of the organisms we used are non-pathogenic, which means they will not cause any disease to humans. However, the bacterial solution may cause irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract when directly touched by the researcher. With basic protection, like wearing a latex gloves, this sort of risk can be eliminated.

Regarding the potential toxic chemicals, we tried to use products with lower toxicity to replace the older ones. (For example, we used Green-DNA Dye instead of ethidium bromide to run gel-electrophoresis.) Of course all of the researchers in our lab have received biosafety training in diversified ways, and know how to handle these toxicants appropriately.

General public, environment

The general public has no access into our lab without permission. If they are willing to learn about our lab and our project, we will guide them to ensure their safety. Some of the organisms would get amp resistance, chloramphenicol resistance or Zeocin resistance. However, for they all belong to non-pathogenic risk group 1, they will not pose detriment to the public and environment if misused or released by accident or by design.

2.New risks when project moved from a small-scale study to become widely used as commercial/industrial product.

The blueprint of our project is to build a site-specific cleavage device, which can be potentially used in gene editing in the future. In our project, the coding sequence we used do not contain toxins or other lethal organic molecules; the plasmids that hold the necessary part in our project are non-pathogenic, they will do no harm to other microorganism. So, whether in small or large scale, there will be no serious risk occurring.

3.Design features or measures to address safety risk.

For we didn't foresee any biohazard and also we believed there will be no more risks than we stated above, we didn't include any designs in our part. However, if it is badly needed, we can create a toxin switch, which can be triggered by chemicals or physical stimulation. When turned on, the organism will produce some toxins to kill itself. Regarding the regular chemical toxins, we dispose the waste appropriately in to designated container, and then they will be future disposed by the lab center workers. When our team members are working in the lab, necessary precaution is required to protect them from potential injuries and toxins, including lab coats, gloves and closed-toe shoes.

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