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From 2011.igem.org

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

As our project aims at establishing a facile platform for soft-coding of genetic program in bacteria, it may bring about certain safety issues regarding researcher and environmental safety. Therefore, we have carefully revised experiment guidelines and safety rules to minimize possible hazards to researchers safety and environmental safety, placing extra stress on properly handling bacteria, plasmids and nucleotide-related reagents to prevent undesirable spread of genes into the environment. All researchers are required to clean up their working area and make sure no pollutants are left unattended. Besides, since we are not conducting large-scale proliferation of microorga

nisms, and Protocols for preservation and operation of common E.coli strains are strictly adhered to, the possibility of threatening public safety is further reduced.

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

If yes, did you document these issues in the Registry? How did you manage to handle the safety issue? How could other teams learn from your experience?

Since we primarily focus on evolving existing non-biohazard parts, mainly RNA device for translation regulation, none of the new BioBrick parts we made this year would raise any safety issue according to our current profession context.

 

3. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution?
If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project?
If no, which specific biosafety rules or guidelines do you have to consider in your country?

Yes. Both our institution and the state government have committees that establish guidelines and policies on biosafety. Evaluation of biosafety in research laboratories are regularly carried out, including evaluation of research proposals that may determine whether grants are given, as well as monitoring of experimental procedures in the laboratories to ensure that they meet the standards of biosafety.

To learn more about PR China’s administrations and regulations concerning biosafety. please click the following links:

This website lists policies, regulations and contracts on ensuring safe research in biology and publishes latest domestic and international news on bio

safety.

This webpage declares rules and policies established by the State Department that regulates laboratory management regarding pathogenic microbes, including classification of pathogenic microbes, respective treatments and control of laboratory infection.

 

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?

Enhancement of biosafety in the iGEM competitions requires the collaboration of every team as well as the iGEM committee. Since BioBrick provides standard synthetic biology parts, it would be relatively easier to establish safety standards for handling these parts. Special lectures on how measures could also be taken to minimize safety issues raised by experiments in synthetic biology may be given during the iGEM workshops.
As for laboratory research, besides a reference sequence databank that may be referred to for possibly hazardous genes, self-destruction functions of plasmids in response to undesirable hosts are also recommendable for BioBrick parts. Orthogonality in the design and construction of functional genetic devices may also be encouraged in the competition in order to reduce the probability of horizontal gene transfer that may endow wild-type species with overly high advantages in intraspecies competition or even underestimated virulence.