Our chassis organism was e. Coli. We did not work with other organisms to test our construct. We used e. coli stains MG1655 and DH5-α.
Careful aseptic technique was used when handling cell cultures. Sharps were disposed of in a sharps container, and all other waste was deposited in a red biowaste bag and later autoclaved.
To reduce risk, we used the ethidium bromide alternative, Midori Green, for preparing gels. All organisms handled were BSL1 by NIH standards.
As a rule, we did not work in the laboratory alone. Most work was done during regular business hours, and all weekend and evening wetlab work was done under the supervision of our advisors.
All team members were required to attend safety training. Our team had two types of training. The first was an online training by the DRS (Division of Research Safety). This safety training included multiple quizzes and tutorials for General Laboratory Safety and Understanding BioSafety. Additionally, team members participated in a “synthetic biology bootcamp” at the beginning of the year to cover general laboratory procedures and safety guidelines. Other safety training such as autoclaving came at another time.
For all experiments, our lab required usage of gloves, safety glasses, lab coats, closed-toe shoes and long pants to minimize the amount of contact between us and the materials that are being used. Also, general aseptic protocols were adhered to when handling any lab techniques to prevent contamination. Our lab required us to go through a live training with a lab representative to learn proper handling and care of the autoclave.
Personal Safety Checklist
Laboratory coats, appropriate gloves, safety googles are worn. After use, gloves should be removed aseptically and hands will then be washed.
Personnel must wash their hands after handling infectious materials and animals, and before they leave the laboratory working areas.
Safety glasses, face shields (visors) or other protective devices must be worn when it is necessary to protect the eyes and face from splashes, impacting objects and sources of artificial ultraviolet radiation.
It is prohibited to wear protective laboratory clothing outside the laboratory, e.g. in canteens, coffee rooms, offices, libraries, staff rooms and toilets.
Open-toed footwear must not be worn in laboratories.
Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics, and handling contact lenses is prohibited in the laboratory working areas.
Storing human foods or drinks anywhere in the laboratory working areas is prohibited.
Protective laboratory clothing that has been used in the laboratory must not be stored in the same lockers or cupboards as street clothing.