Our project is related to the detection of a human disease via a biomarker molecule found in the urine of patients with prostate cancer. Since local regulation does not allow us to work with human samples, we designed our project in a way that it can work as a proof-of-concept of a detection system and pose no risk to human health.
During our work in the lab, we followed a series of rules to ascertain that no risks were undertaken.
Use of lab coat
Use of nitrile gloves
Use of safety goggles
Management of bacteria in biosafety cabinet
In order to have a functional system without having to use human samples, we decided to synthesize a DNA fragment of the gene we are going to detect, so we can express it in the bacteria. Then, we are working with dCas9, inteins, TEV protease, and GFP proteins, which are not from pathogenic organisms and were obtained from the Distribution or as gBlocks. All the experiments and cloning is made in Escherichia coli strains DH5alpha, TOP10 and BL21. No pathogenic organisms are used in the lab.