Safety in Project Design
In the process of our brainstorming and project design, our security consultant, Professor Yan Chen from the School of Life Sciences in Jilin University, has provided supervision and guidance on the security of our project.
Professor Yan Chen, Associate Dean of the School of Life Sciences in Jilin University, is the leading teacher of the "Pharmaceutical Administration" course with more than 20 years teaching and research experience. She is familiar with the relevant laws and regulations in the field of biology and pharmaceutical. Additionally, owning to her experience of being iGEM instructor before, Prof. Chen has an adequate understanding of synthetic biology and iGEM competition.
During the project design process, Professor Yan Chen highly praised the design of our project and conducted a safety evaluation of our project on existing research. Since our design is based on the influence of temperature variation on the mRNA secondary structure, the thermosensors belong to the range of 5'UTR, which does not encode proteins or target human genes, so it is safe to users and public. However, for the future application, Professor Yan Chen gave us a detailed introduction of relevant legal and regulatory documents, providing us with forward-looking guidance to ensure the safety of our projects in the long run.
In addition, we also consulted relavant professionals working in research institutions, universities, enterprises and hospitals for their guidance and advice on the security of our projects. In September, we discussed the topic of biosafety with two Nobel winners, who are Prof. Dan Shechtman and Prof. Harmut Michel.
Following are the legal documents and every team member has carefully studied these relevant safety laws and regulations:
"Regulations on Biosafety Management in Laboratory of Pathogenic Microorganisms "
"Regulations on Safety Management of Agricultural Genetically Modified Organisms"
"Safety Management Terminology of Genetically Modified Organisms in Agriculture"
In the selection of the strains used in the experiment, we decided to choose E. coli DH5a, which is a mutagenized strain, mainly showing the immunodeficiency of exogenous DNA. It is a strain widely used in genetic engineering, lacking of certain immune mechanisms compared to normal strains. E. coli DH5a belongs to Risk Group 1 with no harm to healthy people. After experiment, we sterilize bacteria after experiments to prevent its leakage to the environment.
Our parts are constructed in plasmid pSB1C3. The plasmid and segment is safe. For our parts, they are synthetic RNA-based thermosensors without coding sequence. So they will not raise safety issue. Moreover, this year, we didn't do animal experiment.
We have submitted Check-in form for all of the parts we used this year.
Safety in Laboratory Work
Before entering the laboratory, the team members of the Jilin_China team were trained by the professional teachers on the basic skills of the laboratory and the related instruments. Gu Tiejun, Senior Engineer of the National Engineering Laboratory for AIDS Vaccine, School of Life Sciences, Jilin University, served as the team's consultant for laboratory safety and skills training.
Dr. Gu Tiejun has tutored team members about laboratory safety and instructed the team members to learn the use of aseptic consoles, autoclaves, PCR instruments, nucleic acid electrophoresis instruments, bacterial culture shakers and centrifuges, and checked laboratory hygiene and waste disposal on time.
In addition, Ms. Zhao Xinghong, from the National Engineering Laboratory for AIDS Vaccine, School of Life Sciences, Jilin University, provided relevant safety equipment, including latex gloves, PE gloves, lab coats, goggles, masks, hair sets, emergency medical supplies and Sterilization reagent.
For the experimental protection and operation of the team members, following are the laboratory regulations set for the experimental protection for team members:
1. Put on long-sleeved lab coats, trousers and gloves in the experimental area. No eating or romping in the laboratory. No entry for people without experimental safety training.
2. Wear a mask, latex gloves and lab coat when conducting aseptic operation. Pay attention to the safe use of UV lamps and alcohol lamps.
3. Wear a mask, hair cover and goggles, when performing agarose nucleic acid electrophoresis. Wear a layer of PE gloves outside latex gloves for double protection. The electrophoresis area should be separated from other areas. Out of the contaminated area, do not touch anything before get off PE gloves.
4. Wash hands in time after the end of the experiment. The experimental area supplies (such as lab coats, gloves, etc.) should not be brought into the living area.
5. Pour laboratory waste liquid is into the collection tank of the bacteria liquid. The bacteria liquid should be sterilized by the new Jieermin solution, and then submitted to Experimental Waste Disposal Department of Jilin University for unified treatment.
6. The laboratory solid plate should be sterilized by high pressure steam after each use, and then thrown in the biological garbage bag. Other solid waste in the laboratory should be uniformly thrown in the biological garbage bag. The biological garbage bag is placed under the indoor ventilation fan, sealed and then delivered. It is uniformly processed by the Experimental Waste Processing Department of Jilin University.
7. If anyone is contaminated with toxic test reagents, rush to the emergency sprinkler 5 meters outside the laboratory for emergency treatment and go to the hospital immediately for professional disposal.
8. If there is a fire in the laboratory, use the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher at the entrance of the laboratory for emergency disposal, and make the fire emergency call.
9. Every day two laboratory staff members conduct safey checks. If safety dangers are found, notify the professional and contact the laboratory safety supervisor.
Safety in Shipment
In terms of the delivery of genetic samples, the Jilin_China team strictly abides relevant national and international laws and regulations. We have carefully studied the following law of listed banned transmissions in China.
"Postal Law of the People's Republic of China"
"Post Industry Safety Supervision and Administration Measures"
"Prohibition of Delivery of Articles"
"People's Republic of China Prohibited Entry and Exit Items List"
"List of Pathogenic Microorganisms Infected by Humans"
Complying with the relevant regulations, our genetic samples are not in the contraband list. We also hope that each iGEM team from China will study the relevant laws and regulations.
Submission shipments have been declared and labeled as DNA (non-hazardous, non-regulated, non-infectious, for research purposes only)