Team:Paris Bettencourt/Safety


It included rules about protocols in the lab, protective clothing and equipment, decontamination methods and practices, prevention of the transfer of genetic material and microorganisms, handling of chemicals, use of machines and emergency procedures.

Safety Training and Lab Rules

At the beggining of the competition, all team members recieved a Safety Training for working in the Biosafety Level 1 laboratory. This training as conducted by the Biosafety officer for INSERM U1001 and it included best laboratory practices as described in the WHO laboratory biosafety manual.

Nobody working with these samples is immunodepressed or susceptible to develop a severe infection.

None of the organisms that we have genetically modified represent a higher risk than the wild types, that are already known to be harmless. The modifications that we introduce make bacteria produce volatile compounds -that are useless for themselves- or to degrade molecules present in the human body. These modified strains do not gain a fitness advantage and would probably be outcompeted in any ecological niche by the natural bacteria. We understand that these engineered strains would not be able to efficiently spread in the environment of they were released. Also, we do not think this project could have a malicious mis-use.

Biosafety issues

The strains we are working with are E. coli, Corynebacterium spp. and Bacillus subtilis. All of them are classified in Biosafety level 1.

One of our projects includes the sampling of human microbiome. After doing research, we found no legal issues or specific authorisation in order to do so. There is a consent form we ask people to fill before taking their samples that includes information about how we will use the data and the protection of private information.

Human skin microbiome might contain Staphilococcus aureus in 20% of the cases. This organism can cause blood infection if introduced in the human body. Therefore, we extremely careful with these samples and always wear protection such as gloves, coats and glasses and decontaminate the bench we are working with.

- Corynebacterium striatum: Biosafety level 1. It is the main responsible for body odor and was used in the 'Don't sweat it' project.
- Corynebacterium glutamicum: Biosafety level 1. It was used as control as transformation techniques have been described for this strain, but not for C. striatum.

Bacterial strains used

In this spreadsheet there is a detailed description about all the BioBricks and bacteria used in this project.

Four strains were used:
- Escherichia coli: Biosafety level 1. As a biological chassis to clone genes responsible for different odors.
- Bacillus subtilis: Biosafety level 1. Used in 'Goody Two Shoes' as they are the main bacteria responsible for food odor. Wild type strains as well as three different knock out strains were used.

Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI)
Faculty of Medicine Cochin Port-Royal, South wing, 2nd floor
Paris Descartes University
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75014 Paris, France
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