Safety is a major topic in synthetic biology. During our lab work we successfully focussed on meeting any safety rule and/or law regarding our project. Continue to read if you are interested in these actions.

Safety Features

  1. Safety Training
    • In our University every student receives a safety training for every semester. This includes what to do in emergency cases, how to act in different labs (to do’s and don’ts). For working in S1-Labs we got a separately safety training.
  2. Work environments used to handle biological materials
    • While working with E. Coli we are working in a sterile bank with laminar flow cabinet
  3. Safety Levels
    • In Germany we have 4 different safety levels for genetic work in labs, for every level there are different safety measures – the highest requirements are for safety level 4. Our lab has safety level 1 (low risk).
  4. Personal protective equipment
    • We are using lab coats, nitrile gloves, safety glasses all the time.
  5. Risks of Our Project in the Future
    • If our project is successful it will allow tobacco plants to hyperaccumulate heavy metals. Because of the many regulations and laws there will be no chance, that the tobacco plants are planted anywhere different than it is planned.
  6. Disposal of Biological Waste
    • All waste produced in lab is going to be autoclaved before it is disposed appropriately with the other biological waste.
  7. Risks of our Project now
    • While working in lab: There is a low risk coming from E. Coli, it generally does not cause desease in healthy adult humans. We wear lab coats and gloves in lab and wash and sterilize our hands when entering and leaving the lab.
    • For Safety and Health of the General Public: We wash our hands when leaving the lab and wear lab coats and gloves in lab all the time, so it reduces the risk to safety and health of general public
    • Risk to environment: all the waste produced in lab, that includes the liquid waste, is autoclaved before disposed with other biological waste.
    • Security Risks: Only employees of the university with a transponder have the permission to access our labs. All these persons got a safety training and are already graduated.
  8. Organism used
    • E. Coli K-12 DH5 Alpha


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