Q: Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of researcher safety, public safety, or environmental safety?

A: This year UNIPV-Pavia Team project focuses on transforming the whey lactose into ethanol to turn a pollutant into a resurse. None of the ideas we investigated raised safety issues, except for typical safety concerns addressed in every molecular biology lab. We see synthetic biology as a social opportunity. For this reason we have realized a project not dangerous for the community or the environment. Moreover, it should provide a positive contribute to the environment and the pollution thanks to the production of a fuel by renewable sources. Finally, we engineered E.coli TOP10 strain that is completely safe (biosafety=1) if properly handled both for researchers and public, and commonly used in biological laboratories.

Q: Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?

A: There is a biosafety board in our lab and also in our University Università degli Studi di Pavia biosafety department.

Q: What does your local biosafety group think about your project?

A: Since standard safety routine were enough for our work, the biosafety board approved our project without any particular restriction. It took care to train students in using devices and instruments following all safety prescriptions. In particular, we have managed ethidium bromide, sulfuric acid 97%, hydrochloric acid 33%, potassium dichromate, 3-n-butyl-phosphate and IPTG following all safety prescritions.

Q: Do any of the new BioBrick parts that you made this year raise any safety issues?

A: All BioBricks we have design and built are intrisically safe and do not raise any safety issue since they do not produce or have been produced using plasmids/bacterial strains containing toxins or pathogenetic factors.