Before getting the permission into the lab, we must pass the safety examination online. Only students who pass this exam could have the opportunity to attend lab safety training. Our PI, Ding Ming, trained us with vivid examples of laboratory accidents in order to force us attaching more importance to safety and thus, avoid more tragedies. Besides this, he taught us more useful things: methods to use super-clean bench and ultraviolet lamp, using eye shades and masks while contacting toxic substances, wearing multilayer gloves during ultraviolet tapping process, and other measures in case of emergency (our lab is equipped with first-aid kit, fire detection device, gas mask, fire extinguisher, fire blanket, etc.).
Security for using biological tissues
We use E.coli MG1655 and JT2 in our experiment, which are not disease producing bacteria and belong to operational safe level in iGEM rules. When doing experiment, we strictly abide by the laboratory rules. For used biological materials (such as bacteria solution, etc.), we will do strict sterilization before further processing. Bacteria we use are always under laboratory environment. Even in G20 Summit, when we had to share labs with other teams in different schools, we carried bacteria in tightly closed containers, with no chance flowing into the outside environment.
In the future, considering that bacteria will play their role in our designed device, we add escape-proof circuit in bacteria. Also, because two kinds of bacterial strains will work together in our system, we design a suicide switch based on toxalbumin. No matter which strain escape from the system, the gene for toxalbumin will be expressed and kill the escaped bacteria, and thus ensure the safety (but due to time constraints, we have not achieved the suicide switch yet).
Lab safety rules:
●Close-toed shoes and pants must be worn at all times in the lab, and gloves whenever working at the bench.
● Hands must be washed before leaving the lab area.
● Lab coats must be worn when working with bacteria.
●Goggles must be used when working with any caustic reagent or reagents that could readily aerosolize.
● No food or drink will be allowed in the lab.
●The whole lab is divided into several experiment areas and one studying area. Different areas have different rules, for example, in the GEL AREA, we have to wear double layers of gloves to protect ourselves from the toxic nucleic acid dyes.
● Power supply system is checked periodically.
● All bench space will be wiped down with 70% EtOH before and after use with material.
● All unnecessary equipment must be unplugged and removed from bench after use.
● Each material we used has to be recorded in detail.
Room 413,Biology lab center, Zijingang Campus
Zhejiang University, YuHangTang Road NO.866
iGEM ZJU-China 2016 Team