As learners in biology, we not only focus on the research of synthetic biology, but also take active responsibility for the safety of oneself, the public and the environment. This summer, TUST-China team worked on environmental pollution by constructing a “D&D system” to detect the presence of tetracycline in water samples and further utilize peroxidase to degrade it. We strictly adhere to the safety code, comprehensive consideration, and commit to making our project free of any safety hazards
This year our team focuse on environmental issues because concerns about safe living and environmental protection has caused many eyes. And as biological learners, we are concerned about the ethical issues that are brought about by synthetic biology. For the success of the project and its practical application, we have received good training and supervision in the field of laboratory safety. We have paid much attention to design the experimental safety, the selection of parts and experimental safety operation.
Before entering the laboratory, our PI professor Zhong Cheng strictly required us to study the laboratory rules and receive laboratory safety training, including waste disposal, safety protection, emergency handling and other methods to deal issues. We prepared and wore a full range of protective equipment before doing each experiment and fully understand the experimental procedures and precautions. Before entering the laboratory, all members of the team had have a an examination on laboratory safety and the use of large instruments. Only iGEMers whose score is more than 95 can be allowed to enter the laboratory .
During the experiment, our Instructors guided our daily experiments, iGEMers supervised each other, strictly abided by the experimental requirements when operating various instruments and conducted all kinds of aseptic experiments, and inspected the laboratory every night. The day's experiment didn’t end until it was assured that the laboratory was no safety risks. We have never conducted any dangerous experiments in our daily work or encountered any unusual safety problems throughout the competation.
Furthermore, our laboratories are equipped with first-aid cabinet. Once an emergency occurs, it will be handled correctly in time.
Out of Safety considerations, we added the φX174E gene to prevent the strain from leaking antibiotics into the environment during testing when we were designing the chassis. The φX174E gene is initiated by pLac and regulated by LacI and IPTG. Adding a certain concentration of IPTG to our trophic bacteria liquid will make φX174E express strongly and achieve the purpose of lysis cells, thus preventing the leakage of engineering strain.
We strictly abide by the iGEM Safety principles and stop the spawn leakage. Not only that, we sterilize the used Petri Dishes and the used seed liquid in the triangle bottles, which are toxic, irritating, volatile, strong acid and strong alkali waste liquor to carry on the standard procedure recovery treatment.
According to the official website requirements of "parts registration", we safely transfer some of the DNA to the next 96 hole plate, submitting after freeze-drying. In this way, these DNA are absolutely safe and will not leak into the environment.