Safe Project Design
The main safety feature included in the project was choosing a non-pathogenic chassis. Our biofilm models use non-pathogenic E. coli, to model biofilm growth on plant surfaces. It was important to consider safe alternatives to bacteria that cause foodborne illness on plants, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Since E. coli has known safe models, it was chosen as the main chassis over these other types.
Another main consideration was what types of Antifreeze proteins that would be used. Many farmers and consumers choose organic crops, whether it be to strengthen business or personal belief. We had many discussions with farmers and professionals about what creates and organic crop. While use of any topical treatment or transgenic change would make a crop non organic, farmers and consumers would be more likely to purchase a genetically modified plant if the modification was primarily taken from another plant. This is why we chose to use an antifreeze protein from a carrot as a main independent variable against biofilm formation. This way, it is less likely to have an undesirable impact on the plant to which it is applied.
Safe Lab Work
During any laboratory activity, personal protective equipment was always worn. In the lab, all team members wore long pants and closed toed shoes. Each team member was assigned their own lab coat and safety goggles to wear in the lab.
No unusual safety issues were faced. Some team members worked under a fume hood to troubleshoot contamination issues, but this was not for safety issues.
There were no issues regarding safe shipment of our parts.