Team:SCU China/Safety




On this page are our answers to the questions on the safety page

Safety forms were approved on September 17 2013, by Kelly Drinkwater


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

a. Risks to the safety and health of team members or others working in the lab? The engineered strains used in this project are the most commonly used E. coli DH5α, TOP10 and BL21 which cause no severe infection to human and animals and would be inactivated after experiments. The chemicals frequently used are proved to be friendly and will be handled properly by well-trained students.

b. Risks to the safety and health of the general public, if released by design or by accident? Since our experiment design is just about the common E.coli and the parts we used or modified are mostly reporters and regulator devices which have been used by former iGEM teams and proved to be innocuous. Even if they are released by accident, they won't cause any severe infection.

c. Risks to the environment, if released by design or by accident? The E.coli strains are widely used, so we believe they won't have much impact on the environment. Actually, we have inactivated all the strains strictly after experiments.

d. Risks to security through malicious misuse by individuals, groups, or countries? No, since all the engineered strains are frequently used by researchers all over the world and mostly exist in laboratory environments.


If your project moved from a small-scale lab study to become widely used as a commercial/industrial product, what new risks might arise? (Consider the different categories of risks that are listed in parts a-d of the previous question.) Also, what risks might arise if the knowledge you generate or the methods you develop became widely available? (Note: This is meant to be a somewhat open-ended discussion question.)

I don't think our project may cause any severe new risks since what we are doing is fundamental research about the regulation of gene expression and conjugation between E.coli. All the related genes have been studied by previous researchers and proved no risks.


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 strains we used to build our constructs are just the common engineered E.coli, these strains have been design to be auxotrophic, so they can't extend in natural environment.


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.

The advisors have given us the safety training such as what risks the chemicals may cause and how to avoid them or reduce the harm as much as possible before the experiment .


Under what biosafety provisions will / do you work?

a. Please provide a link to your institution biosafety guidelines.

b. 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. Yes, our school has a special department responsible for this part, their officers have inspected our laboratory and gave us suggestions about biosafety.

c. Does your country have national biosafety regulations or guidelines? If so, please provide a link to these regulations or guidelines if possible. There are different regulations focusing on different aspects of biosafety and The Regulation of Biosafety of Pathogenic Microbiological Lab may be the most closely related to the requirement.

d. 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 [see for help]. Our lab belongs to category 1

e. What is the Risk Group of your chassis organism(s), as you stated in question 1? If it does not match the BSL rating of your laboratory, please explain what additional safety measures you are taking. All the strains we used belong to the Risk Group 1 since they are all non-virulent K12 strains and match the BSL rating of our laboratory.