Team:Arizona State/Integrated Practices

Integrated Human Practices

Literature Research and Consulting with Experts

Throughout our initial research on this topic, we realized that there was not much information on the potential crosstalk partners of the AHL systems that were researched. Throughout our literature search, we kept track of potential crosstalk partners to the 10 systems we investigated. We compiled a list of 14 pathogenic bacteria that could be activated by the 10 Senders produced. We also asked experts in industry about the dangers of AHLs, and learned that not much was known about the handling and disposal of AHLs. In fact, one member of the iGEM safety committee stated that much of industry believed that AHLs would just decompose if left in water. We believed that, in certain scenarios, these AHLs are a bigger threat than many researchers realize.

Applying Our Safe Disposal Protocol

We developed a safe disposal protocol for AHLs, found on the Human Practices page. After gathering data from the bleach and autoclave experiments and compiling it with the Borchardt findings, we developed suggestions for the proper disposal of each of the AHL Senders that we constructed and tested, primarily dependent on the structure of the acyl tail found in each AHL. We also applied this knowledge to our own experiments, either disposing of AHLs in biohazardous waste that would be autoclaved or directly autoclaving the solutions ourselves.

Safety Section on Parts Pages

We added Safety suggestions to the parts pages of the 5 Senders we added to the registry as part of our part collection. This included a description of potential crosstalk partners for the given system, proper disposal procedure for the AHLs produced by the Sender, as well as any other considerations. We believed this would be useful information for any future experiments conducted using our parts, and was a good way to increase awareness about the possible dangers posed by AHLs.

White Paper

All our findings on the safety of AHLs culminated into a white paper, in which we provided background on the threats posed by AHLs and gave suggestions on any experiments involving AHLs. This paper displays how we constantly kept in mind the potential safety issues with AHLs, starting from our literature review all the way to our F2620 inductions test.