SZU-China iGEM understands the inherent risks of working in a lab facility and aims to take all necessary precautions to ensure no personal or environmental harm occurs. To this end, we have implemented the following safety procedures below. Our completed safety form can be found here
GENERAL LABORATARY SAFETY
|Personal protective equipment||Lab coats and enclosed leather shoes were to be worn at all times, and long hair had to be tied back. When working with corrosives, acids, bases, and alcohols, gloves and safety glasses were also required. Upon leaving the lab, a disinfectant hand-wash had to be used as well.|
|Safety equipment||The operation of emergency showers and eyewash were demonstrated, as well as other emergency equipment including a fire blanket, extinguisher, and the panic button.|
|Building safety||The location of fire escapes, fire evacuation plans, and First Aid Officers.|
|Chemical safety||the location and appropriate storage methods of different classes of chemicals e.g. in the fume hood, flammables cabinet, and general chemical store cabinet.|
|Waste disposal||The location of biological safety hazard waste containers, sharps disposal containers, autoclaving methods, and spills kits location/contents.|
PROJECT SPECIFIC LABORATORY SAFETY
This year, our project involves basic genetic operation on the Metarhizium anisopliae 128. According to DSMZ , it is defined as the Risk 1 Group with low potential risk. In our wet lab, all the upstream genetic engineering operations, such as transformation, vector expression and protein measurement, are strictly obeyed the regulations and supervised by teachers or elder students.
In order to make our fungus’ system more effectively, we design a special trap box, in which we put in our fungus spores. The specific method such as how to use our box is on the demonstrate page . However, considering the risk of our fungus escaping from the box, we have designed the suicide sysyem Ttyptophan attenuator MazF to prevent our fungus from leaking out. See the design page to see our safety prevention mechanism.
TRAINING AND ENFORCEMENT
All team members who work in the wet lab must complete full training prior to the onset of work under the instruction of staff and teachers in the lab. These courses set specific guidelines and are the standard requirement for work in a biosafety-level 1 lab at SZU-China. Additionally, all team members will attend the experiment seminar with the chief manager of the cilvil engineering lab, Professor Deng and Doctor Zhang. During these seminar, they will check on the students safety operation procedures specific to the labspace in which we work.
Furthermore, our downstream micro-capsule experiment is highly paid attention to. The total assembly and cultivation is strictly supervised for every procedures and well documented. The exact proportion of ingredients and the sequence involving in assembly is not only related to safety issue, but also the success of our self-repairing concrete.
Team members who violate safety rules are required to work under the supervision of the experiment staff for the remainder of the week, or until the safety officer believes the member is capable of performing the task unsupervised. For multiple infractions or complete disregard to safety protocols, a member may be restricted from laboratory work until he/she undergoes retraining again, and demonstrates proper performance to a team leader of failed technique(s) in a controlled setting.