As in every project in a laboratory, certain risks and safety issues can arise. To prevent these, measures have been taken by our team from the start of the project:
We received safety and security training by biosafety instructor Dr. Gerald Seidel from the Department of Microbiology before starting our work. Students working in the lab wore pants, closed shoes, lab coats and gloves at all times, as well as safety goggles when necessary. Work was conducted on clean benches as well as fume hoods when necessary.
The bacteria used in our project were Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 14067, Escherichia coli DH5alpha, Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) and Caulobacter crescentus CB15/Atcc 19089. Each one of them possess biosafety level 1, meaning they pose no risk if they escaped, as they are non-pathogenic and can not survive outside of lab conditions. Also, the constructs created, as well as proteins used, are not toxic or harmful in any way.
Consequently, our experiments, consisting of analysis of protein structure and assembly using light scattering, spectroscopic ellipsometry SEM, AFM and TEM were perfectly safe as well. Team members conducting these analysis methods also received laser safety training.
German regulations and laws as well as iGEM’s rules and guidelines have always been followed.