Team:PEA Exeter NH/Safety


Lion IGEM 2014 - The Fracking Run-Off Detector Project Phillips Exeter Academy

Lab Safety

1. Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of researcher safety, public safety or environmental safety? The Phillips Exeter Academy iGEM team works in a science laboratory with Biosafety Containment Level 1, because of our work with non pathogenic E.Coli. However there are some potentially poisonous and irritating reagents that we work with in the lab. Some examples are the reagents used in lab protocols such as PCR and Ligation, as well as the naphthalene we use for testing our bacterium's functioning. To minimize the risks associated with these chemicals and enzymes, team members are expected to follow standard lab protocol. Laboratory coats, gloves, close-toed shoes, pants must be worn at all times while working in the laboratory. Students must wash their hands before and after working in the lab. Additionally, personal protective equipment is not allowed to be worn outside the lab. Team members are expected to maintain a sterile working environment by wiping down the benches with 70% ethanol before and after procedures. Fire extinguisher, emergency shower, and an eye-wash station are readily available in our lab. While working in the lab, a faculty supervisor is always present. All high school participants have completed lab-specific safety training prior to starting our project.

2. Do any of the new devices that you made this year raise safety issues? Our transformed bacteria, containing a naphthalene degregation gene, a SOS promoter, a lead promoter, and a gene for lead detection do not raise any significant safety concerns. If all bacteria, DNA, protein samples, and chemicals are handled appropriately, our project is quite safe.

3. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution? Our iGEM research team works closely with the school’s Science Department and Phillips Exeter Academy staff who provide us with biosafety and lab training. Our training workshops provide us with the necessary tools to work saftely in the lab, however should our instruction prove to be inadequate in a scenario, our faculty suprevisor will guide us in making the best choices.