1. Identifying possible risks
iGEM has developed a
Risk Assessment Tool to help you identify possible risks to you, your colleagues, communities, or the environment. We encourage you to use this tool before filling in this part of the form.
What are you using / planning to use?
Some organisms and parts present risks beyond what is ordinary for lab work in synthetic biology. As your project progresses, you should consider the risks presented by each organism and part you plan to use.
3. Which whole organisms, including viruses, are you planning to use or using in your project?
Please provide as much detail as possible (such as strain information). If you are not using an organism, please note this.
4. What risks could these organisms pose to you or your colleagues, or to your community or the environment if they escape the lab?
If you are not using an organism, please note this.
5. Check all species you are using as a chassis in your project.
What is your chassis organism? For the purposes of iGEM, a chassis is the organism in which you are putting your parts, or which you are modifying in your project. Many teams will use a common lab organism as a chassis. Some teams may use a more exotic organism. Some project may not involve a chassis.
6. What risks could your chassis pose to you or your colleagues, or to your community or the environment if they escape the lab?
If not using a chassis organism, please note this.
What parts are you making or planning to make?
This part of the of the form is for you to tell us about the parts you are planning to make or have developed during your project.
It summarises information that might already have been submitted through Check-in forms.
If you submitted a Check-In form for an organism or part, you should still include it in this section. You may omit non-protein-coding parts (except if they are known virulence or anti-microbial factors – you should undertake a literature search to determine if they are), and you may omit parts that were already in the Registry if you are using them without significant modifications.
For more information on virulence factors see the Safety Policy page and the White List. If there are major changes to your project after June 29, please contact the Safety and Security Committee by emailing safety AT igem DOT org.
7. As part of your project, are you are planning to make / have made new parts or substantively changed existing parts in the Registry.
8. Part information is submitted in a spreadsheet.
Please visit this page to download a blank copy of the spreadsheet for this question. (If you need a CSV version instead of XLSX, visit this page.)
Instructions for parts spreadsheet:
Remember to change the filename of your spreadsheet! Put your team's name in place of "TeamName".
A. Species name (including strain): For an organism, give the scientific name of the species. Include a strain name or number (such as "K-12" for E. coli K-12) if there is one. For a part, give the name and strain of the organism that the part originally came from.
B. Risk Group: Give the Risk Group of the organism in column A. You may use a categorization according to your home country, according to the USA, or according to the WHO. If the organism falls into an 'in-between' or special category such as 2+ or 2-Agricultural, explain this category in the Notes column. If you cannot find any Risk Group categorization for this organism, write "N/A" and explain in the Notes column. (Multicellular organisms generally do not have a Risk Group.)
C. Risk Group Source: Cite the source from which you obtained the Risk Group information. See Risk Group Guide for recommended sources. If you got the information from the Canadian PSDS, from the NIH Guidelines, or from the DSMZ catalogue, you may simply write "PSDS", "NIH", or "DSMZ". Otherwise, please give a web link or a full citation for your source.
D. Disease risk to humans: Does this organism cause any disease in humans? If yes, what disease does it cause?
E. Disease or other risks to the environment: Does the organism cause plant or animal diseases or would in any other way pose a risk to the environment if accidentally released?
F. Part number/name:For a part: If it has a Registry part number (like BBa_XXXXX), write that number. If it has no Registry part number, give a short name for the part. (For example: "Actin", "Alcohol Dehydrogenase".) For a whole organism, leave this column blank.
G. Natural function of part: For a part: Briefly describe what the part does in its parent organism. (If it is an enzyme, what reaction does it catalyze? If it is a receptor, what molecules does it bind to? Etc.) For a whole organism, leave this column blank.
H.How did you acquire it: Describe how you acquired the organism/part. If you have not acquired it yet, describe how you plan to acquire it. (For example: did you receive the part DNA from another lab? Did you order the part DNA from a synthesis company? Did you use PCR to isolate the part from genomic DNA of its parent organism? Did you order the cell line from a company?)
I. How will you use it: Describe how you are using the organism/part in the lab. (For example: "This organism is our chassis." "This part senses when the cells are exposed to glucose." "This organism is the source for a part that we are isolating by PCR." "This part produces the toxin which our bio-sensor is designed to detect.")
J. Notes: Use this column to give any additional information that is necessary.
Upload Spreadsheet Please do not change the "Destination Filename"! [File:T--TeamName--Safety2018_Spreadsheet.xls]
You may upload multiple versions of your spreadsheet, using the same Destination Filename. The wiki software will keep track of different versions, and list them in chronological order.
9. What experiments will you do with your organisms and parts?
Please explain briefly. We are particularly keen to understand the boundaries or scope of your project. You should include the names of species / cell lines / strains. You should include experiments involving parts taken from other organisms, even if they are being synthesized rather than isolated from nature – you need not include any parts already in the registry.
"Our bacteria is meant to live on plant leaves, so we will test them on tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) in a lab greenhouse."
"We want to use a protein from ants, but its sequence is unknown. So we will capture ants (Camponotus spp.) to extract DNA and RNA to find the sequence of the protein we want."
"Our bacteria need to interact with human cells for a medical application. We will test them in human cell culture using the HEK293 cell line."
“We are interested in a RNA-binding protein expressed in Kluyveromyces lactis. We have found the sequence in a paper and will have it synthesized by a provider.”
10. What risks could arise from these experiments?
For example, could they produce aerosols making it more likely that you could inhale something? Or are you using needles and could accidentally stick yourself? Could you produce something that is not inactivated using standard lab protocols? If you are not conducting any experiments, please note this.
11. Imagine that your project was fully developed into a real product that real people could use. How would people use it?
Check all appropriate boxes and expand in the comments section.
(Note: iGEM teams should not release modified organisms into the natural environment but you could imagine such a release if your project was fully developed.)
Our project is foundational / we do not have a specific real-world application in mind
(Examples: library of standardized promoters, system for communication between cells)
Only in the lab (Examples: reporter strain for measuring the strength of promoters)
In a factory (Examples: cells that make a flavor chemical for food, cells that make biofuel)
In a consumer product that ordinary people buy (Examples: cells that clean your clothes, bread made with engineered yeast)
In agriculture / on a farm (Examples: cells that guard against pests, engineered rice plants, cells that promote growth of crop plants)
In a small enclosed device (Examples: a bio-sensing strip with cells that detect arsenic)
In the natural environment (Examples: cells that remove pollution from lakes, engineered forest trees that can resist drought)
To be used in the human body, or in food (Examples: anti-cancer bacteria, bread made with engineered yeast, engineered rice plants)
Other (Examples: bacteria that live on Mars, or a software project)
12. What safety, security or ethical risks would be involved with such a use?
It is possible that software projects could also pose relevant risks.