Every member of our team must receive Safety Training and get certificates before entering the lab. The training is given by several experts of our university, containing:
- The standard operation protocols (SOP) in a biology laboratory.
- Instructions of dealing with hazardous chemicals and biomaterials.
- Waste management.
- Instructions of Biosafety Fuming Cabinet.
- How to protect ourselves when accident happens.
In addition, we have developed our own laboratory safety instructions which are more closer to our lab practice. Anyone who enters the lab should obey the rules. This is part of our regulations:
- Wear lab clothes and gloves when working.
- Wash your hands and wear new gloves after preparing agarose gel and DNA electrophoresis.
- Put your cell phone in a clean and transparent bag if you want to bring it into the lab.
- Keep your area neat and organized when working in a biology lab.
- No eating and drinking in the lab.
Safety of Organism
The strain we used in our project is E. coli DH5α which is widely used in genetic engineering and is classified as biosafety level 1 (BSL-1). It means our bacteria will not cause any diseases in humans in our experimental conditions. And after experiment, all the materials used to treat our bacteria will be autoclaved before disposal or special treatment by our university.
In our project, some of the bacteria are transformed with antibiotic resistance gene. If the engineered bacteria are released into the environment, other bacteria in the surroundings may have resistance too, which leads to potential hazard. To avoid such accident, everything contacted with bacteria or DNA, including LB medium, centrifuge tubes etc. will be collected and subjected to special processing by our university.
Safety of Products
Our target product D-psicose, has been approved by FDA in 2011, showing that it is sufficiently safe for human. And hundreds of foods and drinks have been added with D-psicose as a sweetener. So it is safe to work on this product.