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Revision as of 14:08, 20 June 2014








Last year we prepared a video about the lab safety inspired by Turkish Airlines’ Safety video. Use the link to watch:
This year we tried to teach lab safety in a more serious way. Ater watching several lab safety videos, we prepared ‘Lab Over Clouds v2.0’. Hope you enjoy!

1. Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of:
a. Researcher safety:
Actually few hazardous chemicals and solutions such as EtBr are used in some lab procedures such as gel preparation and electrophoresis. However these chemicals and solutions are used according to the safety rules of the laboratory with care and caution. All the members were trained for safety regulations of the laboratory as well as toxicity of the chemicals and solutions before starting the current project.
b. Public Safety:
When released by accident, our parts and materials actually cause no damage to the general public. Due to the unability of E.coli strains, TOP10 and BL21 to survive out of the lab, they cannot pose any risk to the safety and health of the general public.
c. Environment:
E. Coli strains TOP10 and BL1 have very limited ability to survive outside the laboratory; so that, it would be unable to survive or disseminate. Therefore, there is no specific environmental risk associated with the E. coli strains. All bacterial wastes are kept in 10% bleaching solution for one day, and then, are autoclaved to be sterilized. Yet, undesired GMOs may achieve ecologically harmful features.
2. Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year raise any safety issues?
Streptecoccus Pyogenes may caus several diseases including streptococcal pharyngitis. So we used only the enzyme (SpeB) secreted by S. Pyogenes in our project.
3. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?
The institution which we are using for laboratory facilities has its own biosafety rules. Rules for laboratory use, general principles, prevention from hazardous materials and application of emergency intervention in case of accident are included. In Turgut Ozal University Medical School, Laboratory and Patient-Employee Safety Committee is responsible for control as well as biosafety of laboratories and safety of patients and employees. This committee works under one of the vice medical director of Turgut Ozal University Hospital, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Gunduz. Form on safety rules of Turgut Ozal University Medical School Laboratory use was filled in as required. We discussed our project with Prof. Dr. Mehmet Gunduz. Safety and security issues are found sufficient enough that no change is considered as necessary.
Our advisor provided us with biosafety and lab training before starting our project. In the training, general safety rules of laboratory use, prevention from hazardous chemicals and solutions as well as emergency intervention in case of accident were included such as:
- Eating, drinking, storing food and smoking are absolutely not allowed.
- Mouth pipetting is not allowed; modern pipettes are used in lab.
- Hazardous wastes and ordinary wastes are separated and cautiously disposed.
- Lab coats are obligatory to wear in the lab and during on-going experiments.
- In electrophoresis room, lab coat, protective eyewear, lab masks and gloves have to be worn. In the case of use of EtBr; extra caution is required.
- Washing hands after any experiment and after touching anything related with viable material is obliged.
- Air conditioning is kept closed during on-going experiments in order to avoid possible infections of spores and bacteria.
In addition, we have made an instructive video about lab safety instuctions.

Turkey has national biosafety regulations and the link is given as:
4. 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?
- First, IGEM committee may prepare a lab safety acknowledgement form like OSHA form. This form can be required to be filled in by all members. This will allow us to confirm whether members of the teams are informed about safety issues and standardize the safety measurements.
- Second, iGEM committee may organize a webinar to inform the participants about safety and security in labs. Webinar can be done at the beginning of the experiments. Mentor scientists may talk about their experiences and mention some tricks about safety issues.