Personal Safety

Safety Education

At the beginning of the lab work the team has participated in a thorough biosafety education held by our mentors. The main idea of this course was to clarify that working in a molecular biology laboratory has many other important aspects beyond the scientific research work. We went through all the possible personal, public and environmental risks and possible coping strategies, as well. We have learned how to use the fire extinguisher, how to use chemically and/or biologically unsafe materials and how to handle safely all the manually or electronically controlled equipment.

Biosafe “Dress Code”

During all experiments, all participants had to wear gloves, which were dropped into the aforementioned container, and lab coats which were used only in the appropriate lab. All the procedures (PCR reactions, microbial cultures, transformations, etc.) were supervised carefully by at least one adult with the same “biosafe dress code”.


We have used microorganisms belonging only into BSL1 level. The only exception is Chromobacterium violaceum which is itself a BSL2 bacterium; however we have used only parts of its DNA (chitinase gene). The product of this gene is not connected with the Chromobacterium violaceum’s pathogenic effect. In this case we can state that only BSL1 bacteria were used as living organisms. Concerning genetically modified organisms, we had to fulfil the requirements of the rather strict Hungarian State regulations. (You can read more on these regulations here: Concerning these regulations, GMO as living organism can only be produced and/or transferred by approved institutions. Because of this, all the transformational part of our project was carried out in the buildings of the Biological Research Centre of Hungarian Academy of Sciences which is a BSL2/3 and moreover an approved institution for producing and dealing with GMO.

Microorganisms Used by Our Groups

Biosafety Arrangements

Public and Natural Environment Safety

During the experiments having been carried out in the school all the rooms of the laboratory, where our work took place, were signed with biohazard sign, with a title “BIOHAZARD” and in Hungarian “BIOLOGIAI VESZELY”.

All the disposable materials, (pipette tips, Eppendorf- and PCR-tubes, inoculating loops, etc.) connecting with microorganisms were put into a biohazard container, in which there was a strong oxidative disinfectant. This type of handling fulfils the Hungarian requirements in the cases of BSL1 materials. All the bacterial colonies and also the fluid cultures were handled with the same oxidative disinfectant.

All the DNA sample and disposable materials (pipette tips, Eppendorf- and PCR-tubes, inoculating loops…) connecting with it, were dropped into another container in which the strong acidic environment damaged it. All the containers are going to be transported by an officially approved firm which will continue the safety procedures with our used materials according to the Hungarian regulations.

Chemical Safety

All the chemicals we used has the appropriate MSDS pages in the laboratory, and of course you can find the important safety pictograms on all of the flasks and bottles.