Many microbial samples and chemical reagents are involved in the biological laboratory, and improper use of them will bring huge safety risks to researchers. In order to avoid the occurrence of accidents, we comprehensively evaluated the safety of our project and specified strict operation specifications in the process of project planning.
If you need the team's complete project security information, you can browse our safety form（ https://2020.igem.org/Safety/Final_Safety_Form?team_id=3665）
Safe expression products:
Considering that our project is to design a kind of engineering bacteria to be put into the natural environment, the potential risk of engineering bacteria to the environment will have to be considered. In our experimental design, the proteins needed to be expressed include Merr, merb, atlcd and metallothionein. These proteins are all derived from natural biological proteins. These proteins have been widely studied, and their structural information and mechanism of action have been well known. Therefore, these proteins do not have unexpected functions or side effects. In addition, these proteins are non-toxic, and will not cause drug resistance of microorganisms. Therefore, the expression of these proteins in engineering bacteria will not cause damage to the ecological environment and lead to potential pathogenic risk.
In this experiment, Bacillus subtilis is used as the chassis bacteria. Bacillus subtilis is a common engineering bacteria, which meets the safety requirements of iGEM project. In addition, Bacillus subtilis is also a common beneficial bacteria in the soil. In the actual agricultural production, there is even the practice of spreading Bacillus subtilis into the soil to improve the soil quality. It can be seen that our chassis bacteria widely exist in the natural environment, and putting them into the soil is beneficial to the natural environment. Finally, there is no virus or other dangerous cells in our laboratory, which meets the standard of iGEM project, and there is no potential pollution risk. Another kind of biological earthworm that we will use in our experiment is also a harmless organism widely existing in nature, which also meets the requirements of iGEM project.
Relevant laws and regulations:
As for the legal basis at home and abroad, there are the latest "biosafety law of the people's Republic of China (Draft) (second deliberation draft)" and "agricultural genetically modified organisms safety management regulations" and other laws to provide reference. In foreign countries, there is a German law on genetic engineering "Gesetz Zur regelung der Gentechnik" The common point of genetechnik and the Convention on biological diversity is that genetic engineering is divided into several different safety levels, and there are different treatment standards for different levels. For our earthworm project, we can prove that the engineering bacteria used in the project are in safety group 1 through experiments
Laboratory safety regulations:
Before the experiment, we were in charge of our laboratory by Mr. Li Pengfei. The teacher had carried out strict operation training and safety education. During the experiment, the experimenters need to wear protective glasses, protective clothing, knee length trousers and closed shoes to ensure the safety of the experiment. In addition, our laboratory, as mentioned above, has no hazardous biological samples, and is disinfected regularly. The office area is separated from the experimental area, which fully meets the requirements of iGEM project. When we do experiments, we follow the protocol strictly and are supervised by the lab manager.
In order to ensure the biological safety, our biological samples will be strictly prohibited from leaving the laboratory. All samples, including waste culture medium, Petri dishes, and even earthworms used in experiments, should be sterilized after the experiment to ensure that there will be no leakage of our organisms.
Our experiment involves mercury salt and organic mercury. Due to the high toxicity of heavy metal mercury, we will hand over the mercury experiment part to the analysis and test center of East China University of science and technology with special detection qualification for detection and analysis.
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