1. Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of: researcher safety, public safety, or environmental safety?Our project doesn’t involve producing dangerous products, or any modification that could be pathogen. There is no evident issues concerning public or the researcher’s safety , except the well-known risks of all molecular biology researches. Of course, any bacterial modification implies the risk of genetic transduction in other bacteria, which consequences we cannot predict
2.Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year raise any safety issues?No, all of the BioBricks we are going to send will be made from DNA parts usually used in our host lab, with no particular safety issues.
3.Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?Yes, there is a biosafety committee specific of the ULB Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine, which was our host lab. This committee authorizes or refuses any new project to be carried in the institute, including end of studies works and thesis, which is routine, except if the project includes, for example, the manipulation of pathogenic organisms.
3.1. If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project?Since all the DNA parts we designed were already used, in different projects in our host lab, our project was considered routine and was not subject to any specific decision of the committee. We didn’t have special presentations to do or forms to fill and obtained quite automatically the authorization to manipulate.
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?Perhaps potential pathogens or environmentally problematic parts should be referenced, with a dangerousness rate, based on a standard classification.