Laboratory safety training is given to undergraduate students in many of their courses. Three of our team members have completed a comprehensive biological laboratory safety course as part of their Methods of Modern Biochemistry syllabus (BIOCH 401). This includes general biological, chemical, and WHMIS safety training). All students including the freshman students were given on-site training for the specific techniques they used in the laboratory.
In accordance with the University of Alberta Environment Health Safety regulations, all labs used by this year’s iGEM team are classified Biosafety Level 2. All team members received a comprehensive training and certification in WHMIS, concepts in biosafety, chemical safety, and equipment training. Prior to starting the lab work this year, all team members received an in-house safety orientation to be familiarized with common hazardous potentials in the lab, locations of eye wash stations, emergency safety showers and chemical spill kits.
The microorganism used in our lab includes Synechocystis 6803 and high efficiency E. coli used for DNA transformation. At the end of their use, all microorganisms are disposed of by inactivation by addition of bleach.