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One of the most important responsibility of a research scientist is to ensure that neither humans nor laboratory equipment is exposed to harmful or infectious agents . We, the iGEM Sheffield 2016 Team followed the UK Health and Safety Regulations ( ) and showed the highest level of ethical standards in our work. In the following paragraphs, we outline one of the most important rules we followed in order to ensure the aforementioned claims:

Ensuring laboratory safety

  1. Preventing any incidents
    • All students were introduced to the rules of good laboratory practice
    • Students read and signed the COSHH Risk Assessment forms as well as the information enclosed in all kits we were using and handle all reagents accordingly
    • Avoiding contact with any potential harmful reagents or bacteria by wearing appropriate laboratory equipment, including laboratory coats, gloves, close-toe shoes and safety googles when working with chemicals that can strike the eyes
    • Trained supervisors were present in the laboratory at all times
  2. Ensuring an appropriate reaction to incidents
    • In case of incidents, trained university technicians were present

Ensuring safe laboratory practice

To make sure that our genetically engineered bacteria cannot spread outside the lab we followed the following rules:

  • Biological and liquid waste was treated for one hour with Virkon, and disposed using the appropriate liquid waste stream
  • Safety equipment and other materials exposed to the laboratory environment were not removed without decontamination