Safety at QGEM
All QGEM lab members successfully completed extensive lab safety training, including Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and Biosafety Training Level 2 to ensure complete safety. All lab work was performed in research labs with lab technicians and graduate students present during working hours. WHMIS clarified our understanding of any potentially unsafe material we may encounter in the lab such as ethidium bromide, highly concentrated nitric oxide, and other substances. Ethidium bromide was used to visualize DNA on agarose gels, and highly concentrated nitric acid was used to clean certain lab equipment. Any lab members helping to clean this equipment ensured that they wore personal protective equipment (gloves, lab coats, face masks). Extra care was taken to ensure that all hazardous materials were used and disposed of in a safe manner.
Low individual and community risk (Risk Group 1) cloning strains of Streptomyces in regulation with Canadian Biosafety Standards were used for expressing our constructs. These are non-pathogenic Streptomyces strains and do not pose any threat to laboratory workers, the greater public, or the environment. Biosafety regulations were followed at all times to ensure that any modified Streptomyces strains were not introduced to the environment or to other people.