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We had a serious discussion before and we asked ourselves the following four questions. And of course, We got the answers.

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

Since modern time molecular biology and gene engineering is a "reverse engineering" process, which means that we discover and acquire research tools from the existing genes and structures, our iGEM projects in theory might influence natural and existing biological structures and functions in our laboratory.However, any reagents made in our lab is not infectious or contiguous; even in the case of being released by accident, will not impose safety threats to our lab members, people around us, general public, or environment in general. Early pioneers of molecular biology developed a self-disciplined code of ethics to prevent intentional usage of biological reagents, and engineered a stack of laboratory-dependent species for research-only use to prevent unintentional release and contamination of the environment. We plan to inherit the high standard ethical code of action and common molecular biology reagents to meet the requirement for human and environmental safety. In addition, we will introduce biosafety issues and guide-lines to the undergraduate students of life science major as an inseparable part of the academic curriculum to advocate biosafety awareness and promote biosafety education.

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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?

We plan to make chimeric proteins using existing protein domains to achieve the engineering goal of generating measurement devices.? The chimeric proteins can not express themselves unless linked to appropriate promoters and other required components.? The domains are well-characterized and have known functions.? The function of chimeric proteins is easily predicted with no hidden properties.? The expression plasmids carrying these chimeric genes are not infectious or contagious.? We will document the complete gene structure and identified properties of these chimeric proteins in the Registery in detail.

How did you manage to handle the safety issue?
We will adopt lab safety practice of an academic research lab while carrying out iGEM projects.? Our iGEM project instructor has extensive research experience in the field of Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Molecular Endocrinology and Animal Research in the USA in both academic and industrial research environment.? He is our safety officer overlooking our daily lab practice. ?He introduced symmetrically to us lab safety and bio-safety concepts and knowledge.? In addition, We follow the guide-lines published in the lab safety manuals. e.g. Chemical lab practice manuals (e.g. Chemical Operator’s Portable Handbook by Jack T. Ballibger published by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 1999, Chinese translation, ISBN7-111-18399-1), Biological lab practice manuals (e.g. Laboratory Bio-safety and Public Health Crisis Management, edited by Libing Liu et al, published by the Fourth Military Hospital Publication Office, 2009, ISBN:978-7-81086-692-7/Q.27).?

How could other teams learn from your experience?

By applying stringent lab safety regulations, we educate ourselves and our peers that research safety is the foremost important issue in life science research, not only in top and state-of-art research facility, but also in moderate community colleague science laboratories.






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?

Currently we are actively proposing to our school administration to generate a biosafety review committee to oversee life science research on campus.? Until then, we will vigorously pursuing safety issues by complying all legal requirement and bioethical considerations with our best effort.


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?
Researcher-oriented biosafety awareness is the most reliable and long-term method to keep bio-safety in iGEM competition and life science research in general.? We should also begin to think of new ways to generate lab-dependent and fool-proof devices to safeguard our valuable research tools including model species.


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