Safety is an important issue during an iGEM project. We tried to follow the guidelines of scientific working. To minimalize risks, we scheduled our lab work and were instructed in safety matters by a qualified employee of each laboratory. In the following text, we will describe our lab work and especially how it was influenced by safety guidelines.

During our project, we only worked in laboratories with the biosafety level 1. This means the work in these laboratories does not endanger neither humans nor environment. At this level, the most important requirements are hygiene and safety precautions. Everyone in the laboratory has to wear protective clothing and wash as well as disinfect their hands before and after working there. We have different safety installments in our laboratories.

safety installations
Figure 1: Safety installments

In our experiments we worked with the organisms E. coli DH5-alpha and two different strains from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: BMA64-1A and BY4742. There should not be any risks with our experiments because our protocols do neither contemplate any use of dangerous objects nor harmful substances. Yeast cells also do not represent any risk, because many papers have already shown that our mutations and modifications are safe and, also in combination, harmless. Moreover, melatonin is harmless as long as it is not ingested and so far, no long time secondary effects have been found.

In addition, we used the cre-loxP system for the removal of our selection markers used for the transformations. We still needed the markers for further selections during our ongoing experiments. If needed, we could easily remove them at all time by following the cre-loxP protocol. For further information you can click here to see our safety form.