Team:Hong Kong JSS/Safety


Safety checklist

  • Familiarise with Safe Project Design, Safe Lab Work and Safe shipment

  • Ask for help: email safety AT igem DOT org, or join the IGEM team for Virtual Open Office Hours

  • Know our local guidelines: Seek help from our team PI and our institution’s Biosafety officers

Safe Organisms

We used only one organism, which is Escherichia coli in our experiments. E.coli is categorized as a Risk Group 1 organism[1]. According to the official iGEM description, “Risk Group 1 organisms do not cause disease in healthy adult humans” and organisms on the whitelist “do not cause any threat to the environment” To make sure that everything is safe enough to use, we have always been talking to our lab technician about the proper usage, storage and disposal methods.

Safe Project Design

Safety is what we care the most throughout the whole program. Although the species we have only used is E. coli, which is unlikely to cause any harm to human when used properly, we believe there is still a danger when our bacteria is released into the public environment, especially to children and the elderly. Therefore, we make sure that no bacteria or organisms we used will be released out of the laboratory. While doing any experiment with E. coli, we ensure that the bacteria do not expose to the environment by setting up a sterile space using a Bunsen burner and working in the heated area and seal every used petri dishes with parafilm before long term storage.

Safe Lab Work

We also pay great attention to our Biosafety and general safety in our lab work. We are using laboratory with a Biosafety level 1.[2] We strongly believe that safe lab practices are critical so we emphasise safety through maintaining a high level of personal hygiene and applying good microbiology skills, including wearing lab coats and gloves when doing any experiment as well as washing our hand with soap before leaving the laboratory[3].We received safety training when joining the team, topics including risk assessment, general precautions, fire precautions, handling chemical spills, disposal of chemical wastes and experiments on biotechnology. Detail of our training can be found in Safety Handbook in Science Laboraties by Education bureau[4].



[2]: World Health Organisation (2004). Laboratory Biosafety Manual. 3rd ed. Geneva: World Health Organisation. p2-3,9-19.

[3]: World Health Organisation (2004). Laboratory Biosafety Manual. 3rd ed. Geneva: World Health Organisation. P69-93.


Hong Kong JSS