Team:Paris Saclay/Safety




In the Lab

Our project uses strains and reagents that are used in biosafety level 1 laboratories; we use non-pathogenic derivatives of E. coli strain K-12 (in the event of accidental or otherwise release, the health risks are minimal). Our BioBricks are not supposed to confer a pathogenic attributes to E. coli, and there is no data to suggest that they could have any detrimental effects on the environment. At that level, there are no special precautions required, other than those specified for work in laboratory: no food and drinks in the laboratory, gloves and other appropriate personal protective equipment worn during experiments. Our project involves regular use of BET, a DNA-intercaling agent known to cause cancer, and the use of UV light, for visualization of electrophoresis gel. We must prepare culture with antibiotics, which could be harmful to humans in large doses. We also work with Bunsen burner to maintain a sterile environment, which do involve having an open flame on the lab bench. The laboratory is equipped in case of fire. Students participating in this project received safety training to begin the project. The safety training consisted of a presentation covering the various aspects of safety found in molecular biology laboratories. Students were also supervised by instructors throughout the duration of the project.

Paris Saclay Safety.jpg

Safety form:

Your Training

a) Have your team members received any safety training yet?

Yes, we have already received safety training.

b) Please briefly describe the topics that you learned about (or will learn about) in your safety training.

How to safely work with UV rays, BET, phenols, gases. How to correctly dispose of biological waste.

c) Please give a link to the laboratory safety training requirements of your institution (college, university, community lab, etc). Or, if you cannot give a link, briefly describe the requirements.

Your Local Rules and Regulations

a) Who is responsible for biological safety at your institution? (You might have an Institutional Biosafety Committee, an Office of Environmental Health and Safety, a single Biosafety Officer, or some other arrangement.) Have you discussed your project with them? Describe any concerns they raised, and any changes you made in your project based on your discussion.

Biosafety Officer ACMO (IGM Institut de Genetique et de Microbiologie Service Hygiene et Securite) Florence Lorieux.

b) What are the biosafety guidelines of your institution? Please give a link to these guidelines, or briefly describe them if you cannot give a link.

c) In your country, what are the regulations that govern biosafety in research laboratories? Please give a link to these regulations, or briefly describe them if you cannot give a link.

The Organisms and Parts that You Use

Please visit this page to download a blank copy of the spreadsheet for question 3. (If you need a CSV version instead of XLS, visit this page.) Complete the spreadsheet. Include all whole organisms that you will handle in the lab, whether you are using them as a chassis or for some other reason. Include all new or highly modified protein coding parts that you are using. If you submitted a Check-In for an organism or part, you should still include it in this spreadsheet. You may omit non-protein-coding parts, and you may omit parts that were already in the Registry if you are using them without significant modifications.

Click here to show/hide instructions for completing the spreadsheet

Risks of Your Project Now

Please describe risks of working with the biological materials (cells, organisms, DNA, etc.) that you are using in your project. If you are taking any safety precautions (even basic ones, like rubber gloves), that is because your work has some risks, however small. Therefore, please discuss possible risks and what you have done (or might do) to minimize them, instead of simply saying that there are no risks at all.

a) Risks to the safety and health of team members, or other people working in the lab:

All bacteria (Escherichia coli K12 and Escherichia coli MG1655Z1) used in our project belong to the risk group 1, so they do not represent any risk for the health of the members of the team. The only real risks come from certain chemicals and the Bunsen burners.

b) Risks to the safety and health of the general public (if any biological materials escaped from your lab):

Our final system or any of the intermediate strains constructed do not represent any risk or danger for the general public as they are all derived from Escherichia coli K12 and Escherichia coli MG1655Z1 (belonging to the risk group 1), strains that cannot colonize the human colon and does not produce toxins.

c) Risks to the environment (from waste disposal, or from materials escaping from your lab):

The strains used and constructed derive from strains of E. coli with low levels of survival outside the laboratory. The bacteria do not produce harmful compounds either.

d) Risks to security through malicious mis-use by individuals, groups, or countries:

The genes used in this system do not code for toxins or for enzymes synthesizing products toxic to humans or harmful for the environment.

e) What measures are you taking to reduce these risks? (For example: safe lab practices, choices of which organisms to use.)

We wear gloves when using BET or other toxic chemicals, under a fume hood.

Risks of Your Project in the Future

What would happen if all your dreams came true, and your project grew from a small lab study into a commercial/industrial/medical product that was used by many people? We invite you to speculate broadly and discuss possibilities, rather than providing definite answers. Even if the product is "safe", please discuss possible risks and how they could be addressed, rather than simply saying that there are no risks at all.

a) What new risks might arise from your project's growth? (Consider the categories of risk listed in parts a-d of the previous question: lab workers, the general public, the environment, and malicious mis-uses.) Also, what risks might arise if the knowledge you generate or the methodsyou develop became widely available?

Our project is a BioArt project, therefore is not designed for mass production and/or commercialization.

b) Does your project currently include any design features to reduce risks? Or, if you did all the future work to make your project grow into a popular product, would you plan to design any new features to minimize risks? (For example: auxotrophic chassis, physical containment, etc.) Such features are not required for an iGEM project, but many teams choose to explore them. Even though we are working on a BioArt project, we are aware that we use GMOs. We intend to keep our bacteria in a confined state to prevent our work from contamination from the outside and vice versa.