About: Safety in the Lab
1.Would any of our project ideas raise safety issues in terms
-public safety, or
Standards for a Security Level 1 lab:
The lab where our iGEM team works, is a security level 1 lab
according to the Gentechnikgesetz (law for gene technology). This means
that the lab conforms to standards that our instructors introduced us
to at the beginning of the project in April 2009. After a safety
briefing for the group, we had a “safety-tour”
through the lab while
our adviser Kristian told us about the different chemicals we would be using, how to handle genetically modified bacteria and how to operate the different instruments
like centrifuges and Bunsen burners. Furthermore, he showed us where to find the fire
extinguishers, safety showers and eye showers and explained their
handling. In the lab, we store highly inflammable materials and gas
containers in a safety cabinet.
When we were working with hazardous chemicals or genetically modified
organisms we were wearing suitable protection gear such as lab coat,
safety glasses and gloves.
We disinfected our hands, the pipettes and the bench before and after
working with bacteria and phages. Most of the material we use in the
lab has to be sterile and was autoclaved before using. All the bacteria waste as well as all consumable that had been in contact with bacteria were collected in autoclave bags or containers and
autoclaved before delivered to the waste containers to prevent an
While working with toxic stuff or reagents that are harmful to health,
we additionally used a hood as working station. When using liquid
nitrogen or working with UV-light, we were wearing safety glasses and
gloves and handled our reagents with care.
2. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review
board at your institution?
In Germany, we have by law a safety officer in each lab/working
group who controls the work as well as the lab notes.
3. What does your local biosafety group think about your
We made sure to follow all regulations described in the
Gentechnikgesetz (law for gene technology) including the
Gentechnik-Sicherheitsverordnung-GenTSV (gene technology
safety-regulation), the Gentechnik-Aufzeichnungsverordnung-GenTAufzV
(gene technology recording regulation) and the
Gentechnik-Verfahrensverordnung-GenTVfV (gene technology proceeding
Thus, we classified our work as safety-level one work.
4. Do any of the new BioBrick parts that you made this year
raise any safety issues?