Work Environments Used to Handle Biological Materials
When handling biological materials in our lab open benches and a laminar flow hood are used. Some materials are handled in different work environments, for example DNA gels containing GelRed/Ethidium Bromide are only used in designated areas.
Disposal of Waste
Biological waste is disposed of in a yellow biohazard. When full, the bin collected and then sent to be disposed of appropriately along with the biological waste bins from the other laboratories in the institute. Sharps are placed into a sharps bin and when full also collected and disposed of appropriately. Liquid waste is poured into a waste bottle. Once full, it is then autoclaved before being disposed of in the appropriate method.
Personal Protective Equipment
In our lab, lab coats, enclosed shoes, safety glasses and gloves are worn at all times.
UNSW has a compulsory policy of safety training before being induced into a lab. The topics covered in this training included: using equipment in the lab, hazards and risks, safe work procedures, details of emergency procedures and health and safety online training modules including ergonomic training and OHS awareness. With equipment not in the lab such as the autoclave and the nanodrop, an induction was completed on how to use the equipment safely. To be granted after-hours access to the lab and the equipment, further online training modules were completed including after-hours lab safety and campus safety, as well as general risks in the UNSW school of Biotechnology and Biomolecular sciences.
|Species Names||Risk Group||Risk Group Source||Disease Risk to Human?||How did you acquire it?||How will you use it?|
|E. coli DH5-alpha derivative||1||UNSW Health and Safety||Unlikely to cause human disease||Ordered from NEB||Genetically modify the organism and characterise its ability to create outer membrane vesicles|
|E. coli BL21 derivatives||1||UNSW Health and Safety||Unlikely to cause human disease||Ordered from ThermoFisher and NEB||Genetically modify the organism and characterise its ability to create outer membrane vesicles|
|E. coli degP KO (Strain JW0157-1)||1||UNSW Health and Safety||Unlikely to cause human disease||Ordered from Yale's Coli Genetic Stock Centre||As a positive control for our vesiculation testing|
|E. coli tolA KO (JW0729-3)||1||UNSW Health and Safety||Unlikely to cause human disease||Ordered from Yale's Coli Genetic Stock Centre||As a positive control for our vesiculation testing|
|Acholeplasma laidlawii||2||DSMV||Unlikely to cause human (or animal) disease||Synthesis from IDT||To induce vesicle formation from both the internal and outer membranes. We did not actually work with the organism, we merely synthesised one of its genes|
|M13 Phage||1||iGEM's Health and Safety Page||Unlikely to cause human disease||Synthesis from IDT||To induce vesicle formation from the outer membrane|
Risks of Our Project Now
The risks in this project are the organisms used as well as the chemicals being used are potentially toxic. Both of these risks have easily manageable solutions such as wearing PPE, sterilisation, labelling items clearly with a chemical hazard data sheet, managing spills with the correct procedures and disposing of waste correctly.
Risks of Our Project in the Future
If our project is successful it will allow people to use the hypervesiculating strain, for their own uses. These OMV’s could potentially be used for harmful purposes. We currently do not have any design features to reduce the risk of someone using our project for harmful purposes. In the future if it were deemed necessary we could potentially try to limit the types of projects that could use our hypervesiculating strain.