Evaluation & Safety Assessment
1. Would the materials used in your project and/or your final product pose:
a. Risks to the safety and health of team members or others in the lab?
Magnetospirillum magneticum has no known pathogenic activity and is well regarded by many scientists for its safety.
b. Risks to the safety and health of the general public if released by design or accident?
c. Risks to environmental quality if released by design or accident?
d. Risks to security through malicious misuse by individuals, groups or states?
The idea of delivering our invasive magnetotactic bacteria into human brain can potentially be dangerous if handled without care. Although AMB-1, the bacterial strain that we are using, has no known pathogenic activity and is well regarded by many scientists for its safety, we cannot ensure the exact effects once the bacterial cells are transferred into the human brain. Still, we have established an in vitro symbiosis between our modified AMB-1 and glial cells, for reducing immune responses.
Besides, all of the experiments including cloning techniques, PCR, bacterial transformation and mammalian cell assay have been practiced under general safety instruction. With regard to the materials, we take careful precaution to prevent spreading. Our work does not pose particular researcher, public, or environmental safety concerns.
2. If your response to any of the questions above is yes:
a. Explain how you addressed these issues in project design and while conducting laboratory work.
b. Describe and document safety, security, health and/or environmental issues as you submit your parts to the Registry.
The new BioBrick parts we made this year are mainly about using the electromagnetic oscillation control to excite wobble-complementation of helix of mms13 and CHAMP design; then to acheive our goal-twinkling magnetobac. The parts we constructed in group A will less probably cause the safety issues.
We have consulted 2010 Warsaw team for references. The parts BBa_K177010, BBa_K177026 should be handled with much care.
3. Under what biosafety provisions will / do you operate?
a. Does your institution have its own biosafety rules and if so what are they? Provide a link to them online if possible.
Yes, our institution has its own biosafety rules. http://ces.web.ym.edu.tw/front/bin/ptlist.phtml?Category=69
b. Does your institution have an Institutional Biosafety Committee or equivalent group? If yes, have you discussed your project with them? Describe any concerns or changes that were made based on this review.
Yes, we had discussed our project with NYMU Center of Environmental Protection and Safety and Health. We have changed our project experiment from in vivo to in vitro after this review. Because we cannot ensure the exact effects once the Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 is transferred into the human brain before we have done the in vitro experiment properly.
c. Will / did you receive any biosafety and/or lab training before beginning your project? If so, describe this training.
Yes, we have biosafety and lab training before doing our project. We watched some video of lab safety and finished online bio-lab safety training of the following links
d. Does your country have national biosafety regulations or guidelines? If so, provide a link to them online if possible.
Yes, our country has national biosafety regulations and guidelines.
4. OPTIONAL QUESTION: Do you have other ideas on how to deal with safety or security issues that could be useful for future iGEM competitions? How could parts, devices and systems be made even safer through biosafety engineering?
We might need to label the genes extracted from those pathogenic bacteria and those genes should not be put in biobricks which will be sent to all registered team. The platform of those "special" biobricks should be established. To whom want to apply those genes should do some forms about the project design, how to use those parts, how do they handle the probable safety issues and so on. Once the forms are accomplished and accepted by the iGEM committee, the team can recieve the biobricks they want to use in their projects.
We can mutate genes related to pathogenicity and leave the genes we want to use in function. When the pathogenicity of some parts, devices or systems cannot be eliminated, we can add more control systems (e.g., on/off systems) to control those genes not performed in most conditions or let those genes only performed in less "special" circumstances or enviroments.
Maybe if possible, we can also create some kinds of loops to degenerate the proteins associated with the pathogenicity.