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1. Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of: researcher safety, public safety, or environmental safety.

Our project mainly raises environmental issues. We are working with antibiotic resistant genes and as a result, we have to be cautious in how we dispose of the hazardous waste to avoid the creation of superbugs. As a result, we collect all our waste together and dispose of them according to our school board's rules.

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

Unfortunately, we did not have an opportunity to create any new BioBricks this year and as a result, we can't assess the safety concerns surrounding it. However, we made a centrifuge which powered by a dremel drill, has a speed of 30,000 rotations per minute. To avoid any physical injury caused by the centrifuge, we put up shields around the machine and we wore goggles whenever we were near it.

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

Our school board has a person in charge of hazardous materials and removal; but because he is not located at our school, we have trained personnel who can handle hazardous waste. As part of that, we follow proper CBE administrative regulation regarding disposal of hazardous waste.

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?

We would recommend that if your school board does not a biological materials waste management plan, the team should discuss it with their university mentors to avoid any breach of safety.