To ensure the project is conducted responsible, our team has received an extensive laboratory safety training required by the School of Chemical Engineering where the lab is located, as well as general course on the code of conduct, ethical working and IP right common for all Aalto University faculties. There always has to be a lab partner present in order to help in case of emergency and working outside of official hours has to be reported and approved by a supervisor.
We have also received a separate training for the safe use of cytation device, autoclave and gel imaging device. Our project requires only a biosafety level one laboratory, for which the rules can be found here. More detailed safety protocols for our faculties are available at aalto.fi/en/services/occupational-safety-school-of-chemical-engineering.
USED MICROORGANISMS & GMO SAFETY
Our work focuses on four different biosafety level 1 Escherichia coli strains: TOP10, BL21 DH5alpha and GKCW104. They are non-pathogenic and safe to work with. The used E. coli strains are laboratory strains with no natural environment. No humans or animals were tested nor harmed in our laboratory experiments. It is also worth noting that some of our tests involved wastewater. In order to avoid contaminating the laboratory with unknown microorganisms, as well as assure our safety, the wastewater was sterilized using a UV lamp. More about safety measures can be found in our safety form.
We are aware of potential risks related to release of genetically modified bacteria into the environment and iGEM’s official Do not Release Policy concerning GMOs. We aim to contain all GMOs created during laboratory work. Preventive action included following laboratory rules regarding handling and proper disposal.