Team:BGU Israel/Safety1


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Safety of Lab Members

Safety procedures taken in the lab include safety training and careful following of lab rules and protocols

General Public Safety

The safe and suitable use of different organisms in our project was of great importance to us, especially we wanted to insure that even if an accidental release occurred, no harm will be done

Personal Care

As part of our research we decided to take a spin on everyday lab safety protocols and add our own "personal care" rules – what can we change in our everyday lab life to improve our own health?

See What we have learned

Check Out Our Safety form

Safety of Lab Members

All lab work and experiments were done according to laboratory safety policies at Ben –Gurion University. The lab team was trained and escorted by lab members and instructors at the beginning and throughout the summer to ensure the safety and health of team members and lab workers alike,

as well as acquiring correct techniques and lab methods.The mammalian cells and bacteria used in all experiments are classified as biosafety level 1 organism, all are harmless to the experimenters and were used under well-established protocols and with proper guidance and safety equipment.

Safety Risk to the General Public

Bactria - A minor but potential danger to the general public from this project as well as many others is the possible uncontrolled release of antibiotic resistance E. coli. We have minimized the range of antibiotics used in our project to ampicillin and chloramphenicol. Combined with the fact that the strains of E. coli we used carry no other antibiotics resistance, the risk of them surviving in nature and passing on the different plasmids is extremely small. If the bacteria were to survive in nature containing a plasmid from the different experiments we held, it would most likely be outcompeted by the naturally occurring and better adapted E. coli strains. Another important fact is that E. coli was used in our experiments only as a method to propagate plasmids, the plasmids themselves never contained bacterial promoters for our transgenes and even if they did, all the proteins they translate into are harmless protein.

Mammalian cells – we used two types of mammalian cells, HepG2 – human liver carcinoma cell line, and CT26 - Mouse colon carcinoma cell line. Both are safe to use and require no special equipment or procedures beyond the normal. These cells are very "spoiled", and in case of an uncontrolled release they will not survive.

Personal Care

Another aspect of safety we have explored during the summer is "personal care". We printed out alternative "safety" protocols to be added to normal protocols and lab rules that hang on the walls throughout the labs and buildings. Those alternative "protocols" try to encourage people to do every day activities in a manner that will help them improve their health and increase awareness to the choices they (and us) make all the time. It is easy to find yourself spending most of the day on a chair in front of a computer, using the elevator and forging to drink your water. For example, the elevators buttons are a glove free zone, and since lab employees use the elevators all the time carrying experiments to different tests rooms across the buildings, we added our own slightly healthier suggesting: "can't press the button? Use the stairs! ".The purpose was to try and encourage people to make small changes that will definitely improve their general feeling and might help some from reaching the exact situation we are trying to prevent in our research.

What We have Learned

Be responsible - Encourage responsible research, with researchers that are aware of the benefits and risks and act accordingly
Be aware - Create a communication platform not only with other researches and different research fields but also with the general population
Be realistic – Know that it is very hard to take the scientific and social potential embodied in the research and translate it into real world applications outside the laboratory.


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