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We present here our reflexion about safety issues of the “Cobalt Buster” project based on a modified Esherichia coli strain able to capture and concentrate cobalt from its environment. This reflexion based on the questions provided by iGEM safety judges, is presented in a form that we believe more convenient.

Radioactive cobalt is released in water systems of nuclear power plants, that’s why we aim at using this strain as bio-filter for nuclear wastewater treatment to improve efficiency and reduce both nuclear waste volume and the costs of the treatment.

In this context we considered Researcher safety and, as we are aware that this project combines two technologies that scare a significant proportion of the population (GMO and nuclear power plant, as shown by a recent french survey resumed below), we paid particular attention in defining the potential risks for the Public and the Environnemt.

To prepare safety issues we organised a public debate called “ Nuclear technology and Genetically Modified Organisms : Can scientists keep control? ”.

Researcher Safety

ENS assystem Biomérieux INSA INSA