Team:Elan Vital South Korea/s answers


Safety Questions Answers

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

researcher safety

public safety

environmental safety


There are three recommended steps in addressing this question.

1. To start, please list organisms you are using and organisms from which your parts are derived, indicating the risk group or biosafety level for each. For help, see Table 1 and 2 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory Biosafety Manual. You are welcome to use your national standards if you prefer. If national standards do not use the WHO 1-4 scale, please provide a link to an explanation of your standards.

We used MRSA (WHO Biosafety Level Risk Group 3) and E. coli (WHO Biosafety Level Risk Group 2)

2. Then consider risks to team members, publics and environment if the project goes according to plan. Please describe risks posed by lab equipment and chemicals as well as biological parts and organisms. How are you addressing these issues in project design and lab work? Have you received biosafety training and other laboratory safety training? If so, please briefly describe the training.

If everything goes as planned, there should be minimal biological risk to team members, public, and the environment.

3. Then consider risks to team members, publics and environment if the project does not go according to plan. What are risks if safety measures such as containment procedures go wrong and organisms or parts are released? What are risks to security from malicious misuse? How are you addressing such risks?

If things do not go as planned, there could be serious biological risk to team members, but minimal biological risk to the public and the environment. E. coli is categorized as WHO risk group 2, so is unlikely to be a serious health hazard to team members, and does not pose a serious biological risk for the public and the environment. But MRSA is categorized as WHO risk group 3, so it could cause serious health issues for tean members, but does not pose a serious biological risk for the public and the environment.

Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year raise safety issues? If yes

Did you document these issues in the Registry?

How did you manage to handle the safety issue?

How could other teams learn from your experience?


Please reference the biosafety level of parts. If you are working with anything other than a BSL1 organism, take extra care with this question. Your nation regulates handling and transfer of pathogens and parts associated with pathogenicity. For a list of regulated organisms, see the Australia Group website.

We did not use the BioBrick parts, and we did not make any devices for the project. We did not have any safety issues. We worked with BSL2 and BSL3 organisms, so we took extra care with the experiments involving these organisms. Look above for detail.

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

If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project?

If no, which specific biosafety rules or guidelines do you have to consider in your country?


The iGEM Safety Committee is not a substitute for national and local university institional biosafety committees

1. Does your university have a Biosafety Committee or equivalent? Please provide a link to regulations and local requirements.

Gacheon Infection Control Office (Infection Control Committee)
phone: 82-32-460-3744 / Fax: 82-32-472-1578

2. Is your project in compliance with national regulations and university requirements?

Yes. Look above for university safety guidelines

3. If you are working with any organisms or parts requiring containment arrangements above BSL 1 or equivalent, have you consulted with your Institutional Biosafety Committee regarding your project?

Yes. Our instructor, Dr. Hwang, contacted the Gacheon Biosafety committee. They looked at our safety protocols, and found no problems with it: they decided that there should be no significant safety issues as long as we followed the guidelines.

Do you have any other ideas how to deal with safety issues that could be useful for future iGEM competitions? How could parts, devices and systems be made even safer through biosafety engineering?


This is an open-ended space for you to consider and suggest ways of improving safety or safety awareness at iGEM and beyond. Some iGEM teams have offered ideas (and sometimes full projects) to limit gene flow, to create software for screening pathogens, and to reduce reliance on antibiotic resistant markers. Other iGEM projects have discussed concerns that might arise if the project succeeded and became widely used, as commercial product or other means of distribution. Some iGEM projects have discussed risks that might materialize if the knowledge generated or methods developed were to become more widely available.