Safety introduction/tour
At CIDosis, we are taking responsibility for the well-being of our team members and those around us inside and outside the laboratory. Inside the laboratory, we have been focusing on safety since the beginning of our project. Our home at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences where we spend all our time in the laboratory required us to have a thorough walk-through of the safety measures when being inside the laboratory. This included what to do in case of the occurrence of non-biological hazards, such as fire or chemical spill, and how to safely operate all the equipment and machines we needed to achieve what we have so far inside the world of synthetic biology.
Involvement of supervisors
Our supervisors were heavily involved in ensuring that the design of our project was done in a safe manner. This included making us be more aware of relevant regulations regarding working with genetically modified organisms and how we must work to ensure that they must never be released into the environment. We incorporated these thoughts by working towards implementing a kill-switch for our chassis.

Additionally, safety instructors of the department ensured that, due to the extraordinary circumstances caused by Covid-19, all space-regulations were being held. This included limiting the number of group members that could be in the laboratory to a maximum of 2 at our workbench, and usually 4 people in total from the department in the individual laboratory rooms. We made sure to abide by these regulations, and we also worked with visor when the laboratory work required us to be within 1 meter of each other.
Types of organisms, parts and activities
As we only work with already white-listed non-pathogenic Risk Group 1 whole organisms in the form of Escherichia coli as our organism required for stable transfection and Saccharomyces cerevisiae as our chassis for our biosensor-based patch, we could easily comply with regulations related to working with them. While E. coli does not have the GRAS (generally regarded as safe) designation, as it has naturally occurring endotoxins, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, being the first eukaryotic organism to have a fully sequenced genome, is a GRAS organism. As it also possesses a modular pheromone pathway that can easily be manipulated for reengineering into a biosensor, suitable for our need to have high sensitivity to inflammatory cytokines in sweat, we chose S. cerevisiae as our chassis. Additionally, the strain (AM254) that we are using has already been optimized for biosensor purposes, as it contains five mutations in the implicated genes of the yeast pheromone pathway .

To ensure optimal laboratory conditions and being aware of the risks of contamination, we worked in biosafety cabinets, and not open benches when working with our chassis. In this way, we markedly reduced the risk of contamination for our most important experiments. No activities our parts were performed or used, respectively, which required check-in.

  1. Hansen, N. L., Miettinen, K., Zhao, Y., Ignea, C., Andreadelli, A., Raadam, M. H., Makris, A. M., Møller, B. L., Stærk, D., Bak, S., & Kampranis, S. C. (2020). Integrating pathway elucidation with yeast engineering to produce polpunonic acid the precursor of the anti-obesity agent celastrol. Microbial Cell Factories.

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