Revision as of 11:09, 12 August 2009 by Verhoeven1981 (Talk | contribs)


Below are the safety and security questions raised by iGEM to be addressed by all teams!!!

If you find something interesting or important, please write them down below!


For iGEM 2009 teams are asked to detail how they approached any issues of biological safety associated with their projects.

Specifically, teams should consider the following four questions:

  1. Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of:
    • researcher safety,
    • public safety, or
    • environmental safety?
  2. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?
  3. What does your local biosafety group think about your project?
  4. Do any of the new BioBrick parts that you made this year raise any safety issues?
    • If yes, did you document these issues in the Registry?

Teams, please document any answers to these (or other) safety questions in your presentation, wiki presentation, or poster.

Judges will be asked to evaluate your project, in part, on the basis of if and how you considered and addressed issues of biological safety.

If any questions arise regarding iGEM and biological safety please send an email to safety AT

Security in iGEM

In recent decades scientific research has created new and unexpected knowledge, technologies and approaches, such as synthetic biology, that offer unprecedented opportunities to improve human and animal health and environmental conditions. But science and technology can be used for destructive purposes as well as for constructive purposes. Advances in our control of biology opens up opportunities to intentionally cause harm to humans, animals, plants and the environment. It is important for us to appreciate what is being done, and perhaps more importantly, what more needs to be done and why.

Given the power of engineering biology, practitioners have a special responsibility when it comes to the potential for misuse of our science and technology. Ensuring that biology is used safely, securely and constructively should be of concern to us all. This is a challenge we will have to face together. To do this we will need to figure out what we want biological engineering to look like, what we are prepared for others to do with it and just how we want to tackle security issues. This page provides a space to focus on these issues and for you to help shape what should be done to stop those with a malign intent.

Securing biology is not a simple task. It is not something those outside biology can do alone. Equally it is not something that biologists can do without the access and resources that governments can provide. It will need us to work together, in new ways, to find an approach that provides benefits for all. There is a real opportunity here for iGEM and those participating in iGEM, to not only to shape how they will deal with security issues but to drive national and international processes. You can make a real difference in securing biology.