Safety/Final Safety Form

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Students complete Final Safety Form (Deadline: September 16)

Instructor reads and approves Final Safety Form

Instructor submits form (from his or her user account)

Due September 16

This form is for you to tell us all about your project, the organisms/parts you are using, the potential risks of your project, and what you are doing to reduce those risks.

  • We encourage STUDENTS, instead of instructors, to complete this form. However, you will need an Instructor or PI to sign and submit this form.
  • While you type, this form will remember your answers. When you are finished, press the "Submit" button at the bottom to send your form to the iGEM Safety Committee.
  • Submit this form by September 16.
  • If you will not be able to complete this form before the deadline, please email us (safety AT igem DOT org) and tell us about your situation.

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-- Please choose a team

Team member who should be contacted about this form:



1. Your New Parts

Please visit this page to download a blank copy of the spreadsheet for this question. (If you need a CSV version instead of XLSX, visit this page.)

Complete the spreadsheet. Include all whole organisms that you will handle in the lab, whether you are using them as a chassis or for some other reason. Include all new or highly modified protein coding parts that you are using. If you submitted a Check-In for an organism or part, you should still include it in this spreadsheet.

You may omit non-protein-coding parts, and you may omit parts that were already in the Registry if you are using them without significant modifications.

Click here to show/hide instructions for completing the spreadsheet

Remember to change the filename of your spreadsheet! Put your team's name in place of "TeamName".

  1. Species name (including strain): For an organism, give the scientific name of the species. Include a strain name or number (such as "K-12" for E. coli K-12) if there is one. For a part, give the name and strain of the organism that the part originally came from.
  2. Risk Group: Give the Risk Group of the organism in column A. You may use a categorization according to your home country, according to the USA, or according to the WHO. If the organism falls into an 'in-between' or special category such as 2+ or 2-Agricultural, explain this category in the Notes column. If you cannot find any Risk Group categorization for this organism, write "N/A" and explain in the Notes column. (Multicellular organisms generally do not have a Risk Group.)
  3. Risk Group Source: Cite the source from which you obtained the Risk Group information. See Risk Group Guide for recommended sources. If you got the information from the Canadian PSDS, from the NIH Guidelines, or from the DSMZ catalogue, you may simply write "PSDS", "NIH", or "DSMZ". Otherwise, please give a web link or a full citation for your source.
  4. Disease risk to humans?: Does this organism cause any disease in humans? If yes, what disease does it cause?
  5. Part number/name: For a part: If it has a Registry part number (like BBa_XXXXX), write that number. If it has no Registry part number, give a short name for the part. (For example: "Actin", "Alcohol Dehydrogenase".) For a whole organism, leave this column blank.
  6. Natural function of part: For a part: Briefly describe what the part does in its parent organism. (If it is an enzyme, what reaction does it catalyze? If it is a receptor, what molecules does it bind to? Etc.) For a whole organism, leave this column blank.
  7. How did you acquire it?: Describe how you acquired the organism/part. If you have not acquired it yet, describe how you plan to acquire it. (For example: did you receive the part DNA from another lab? Did you order the part DNA from a synthesis company? Did you use PCR to isolate the part from genomic DNA of its parent organism? Did you order the cell line from a company?)
  8. How will you use it?: Describe how you are using the organism/part in the lab. (For example: "This organism is our chassis." "This part senses when the cells are exposed to glucose." "This organism is the source for a part that we are isolating by PCR." "This part produces the toxin which our bio-sensor is designed to detect.")
  9. Notes: Use this column to give any additional information that is necessary.

-- Please do not change the "Destination Filename"! [File:TeamName Safety2016 Spreadsheet.xls]

You may upload multiple versions of your spreadsheet, using the same Destination Filename. The wiki software will keep track of different versions, and list them in chronological order.

Click here to VIEW your spreadsheet

2. What is your chassis organism?

Check all species you are genetically modifying in your project.


3. Do you plan to experiment with any other organisms, besides your chassis?

What organisms, and what experiments will you do? Please explain briefly. Please include the names of species / cell lines / strains.

Example answers...
  • "Our bacteria is meant to live on plant leaves, so we will test them on tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) in a lab greenhouse."
  • "We will handle P. aeruginosa in order to PCR the [example gene] from it."
  • "Our bacteria need to interact with human cells for a medical application. We will test them in human cell culture using the HEK293 cell line."
  • "We want to use a protein from ants, but its sequence is unknown. So we will capture ants (Camponotus spp.) to extract DNA and RNA to find the sequence of the protein we want."

4. How will your project work?

Describe the goal of your project: what is your engineered organism supposed to do? Please include specific technical details and names of important parts. (Even though your project might change, please describe the main project idea you are working on right now. See the example answers for help.)

Example answers...

Good example answers:

  • "Our bacteria will live inside a human body. They will detect tumor cells that express biomarkers for liver cancer. They will use invasin to enter the tumor cells, and then secrete apoptin to kill the tumor cells."
  • "Our algae will receive the exhaust from a factory, which is high in CO2. We will increase their expression of Photosystem II proteins to make them absorb more CO2, reducing the factory's emissions."

Bad example answers (not enough detail):

  • "We are engineering E. coli to cure liver cancer."
  • "Climate change is a very important problem. Our algae will reduce CO2 emissions and fight climate change."

5. What risks does your project pose at the laboratory stage? What actions are you taking to reduce those risks?

If you are working in a biology lab, you cannot answer "no risks". Even the simplest experiment, with the safest bacteria, poses some small risk. The actions you take to reduce that risk would include safety level 1 procedures, wearing gloves, sterilizing waste, etc.

6. How would your project be used in the real world?

Imagine that your project were fully developed into a real product that real people could use. How would people use it? Check all appropriate boxes.

(Note: iGEM teams should not release modified organisms into the natural environment.)

  • (Examples: library of standardized promoters, system for communication between cells)

  • (Examples: reporter strain for measuring the strength of promoters)

  • (Examples: cells that make a flavor chemical for food, cells that make biofuel)

  • (Examples: cells that clean your clothes, bread made with engineered yeast)

  • (Examples: cells that guard against pests, engineered rice plants, cells that promote growth of crop plants)

  • (Examples: a bio-sensing strip with cells that detect arsenic)

  • (Examples: cells that remove pollution from lakes, engineered forest trees that can resist drought)

  • (Examples: anti-cancer bacteria, bread made with engineered yeast, engineered rice plants)

  • (Examples: bacteria that live on Mars)


7. What risks might your project pose, if it were fully developed into a real product that real people could use? What future work might you do to reduce those risks?

8. Any further comments about your project:

9. Comments about this form: Is it easy or difficult to use? Are the questions confusing?


Only a team Instructor or PI may submit the Safety Form.

Instructors/PIs, please read the form you are submitting, and confirm that all its information is correct. By checking the "I Agree" box and clicking the "Submit" button, you are agreeing that the Final Safety Form accurately describes the activities of your team. We are using the "I Agree" box in lieu of a signature with paper and pen.


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