Safety Considerations

1. Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of :

  • researcher safety,
  • public safety, or
  • environmental safety?

A. None of our project ideas are hazardous to researchers, public or environment. We worked only with non-hazardous, non-infectious bacteria like E.Coli (main strain: K-12, substrain:DH10B), and we followed the standard operating procedure of donning lab coat, proper covered attire, goggles and protective gloves whenever we work in the lab. We have a very strict bio-waste handling policy, and when working with hazardous chemicals like choloroform, we are assigned a Ph.D candidate to supervise us.

2. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?

A. The Institutional Biosafety Committee of Singapore regulates biosafety measure, policies and code of practices in all labs that falls under its purview. NTU's labs are no exception, and the University takes every effort to keep in line with these requirements.

We also have a dedicated Biosafety committee within the Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering Cluster in NTU. Any biological research labs in the university actually fall under the general purview of this Cluster. They are responsible for drawing up general guidelines for all laboratory work.

One of our instructors, Prof. Matthew Chang, whose lab we utilize, is our immediate supervisor in charge of monitoring any potential safety concerns. Before beginning any labwork or research project, he is required to perform a risk assessment analysis before approving our project. All iGEM team members are also briefed on the biosafety and handling of hazardous agents.

3. What does your local biosafety group think about your project?

A. Since all research proposals have to be approved by the local Biosafety committee, they have already performed the risk assessment analysis and concluded that our project would be within the safety limits of biological research.

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?

A. None of our Biobricks would be disruptive to the health of researchers or the general public. In addition, our comprehensive biowaste management policies ensure that none of our biological wastes ever cause damage to the environment.

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