Our project is executed in closed condition. Tobacco waste is obtained, and nicotine is extracted. During this process, no biological procedure is used, only chemical reactions. We follow the rules of the laboratory of disposal. After nicotine is extracted, biological procedures began. We will use bioreactor in an industrial scale, so not only in a laboratory scale, but also in an industrial scale our project is safe does not take out any cells. Conversion to 5-aminolevulinic acid uses only chemical reactions, so it is safe as long as we follow the laboratory rules like treatment of reagents.
Going over the Laboratory Biosafety Manual
We went over the Laboratory Biosafety Manual written by World Health Organization. This manual is recommended by iGEM safety committee as shown here. (https://2020.igem.org/Safety/Working_Safely) As we checked the basic safety procedures, we also talked about the risks of the experiment we conduct and how these could be prevented.
Attending online lesson
Japan is one of the countries that concludes Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. So, the Law Concerning the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms was enforced on 2004. (1) By this law, we must be trained to conduct the experiment concerning genetically modified organisms. All of the members of our team conducting experiments watched online lesson due to COVID-19. So, we are officially allowed to conduct the experiments on GMO.
(1) Official webpage of Ministry of Agriculture、Forestry and Fisheries
We assessed the risks of our experiment, including biosafety levels and laboratory levels. We submitted the application for conducting GMO experiments to the examining authority of our university to check if our risk assessment was valid.
On June 26, our team member joined safety workshop held by ambassador Mr. Niwa. We learned about the risk of gene modification and the risk of iGEM lab activity. At this workshop, we discussed how we do risk management based on case study.
Genetic modification study session
On August 14, we held a genetic modification study session with team members. At the session, we learned about the domestic Law that establishes genetic modification and biodiversity (Law Concerning the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms) and how genetic modification are used. We also researched and discussed that genetic modification is how to be regulated and how people feel this technology in each country.