Precaution is better than cure.
-- Edward Coke
Safety is an important factor in research due to the risks it involves. To ensure the individual and societal safety, a foresighted and responsible work behavior is essential.
Before starting any laboratory work, an instruction including general lab safety, handling of hazardous material and emergency actions was given. Also we were acquainted with the regulations relevant for our work. Additionally every member received instructions concerning the workplace-related specifics like building security and the proper operation of technical devices.
For personal safety, every member was equipped with lab coats, protective googles and disposable gloves. When working with harmful materials like UV-light or hazardous chemicals, the appropriate protective measures have been taken.
In our project no humans or animals were harmed. We worked with S1 (German Biosafety Level 1) approved organisms such as the E. coli strains DH5alpha and TOP10 as well as V. natriegens. Furthermore we investigated if the wildtype V. natriegens is able to survive outside its natural habitat. This was achieved through exposing the wildtype to different autoclaved environmental samples. To ensure that the genetically modified bacteria, we were working with, were not released into the natural environment nor came in contact with human beings, we strictly adhered to the applicable S1 regulations and conducted our research in S1 approved laboratories.
All parts involved in our project are on the IGEMs whitelist or applications were submitted for these parts.
In order to not favor the spreading of resistance to important drugs, we were not using antibiotics on the World Health Organization`s list of "Critically Important Antimicrobials". In our project we fullfil all requirements of the iGEM competition concerning safety and we are confident, that none of the parts and constructs of our project are posing a risk for the humanity or environment.