PASantiago Chile/safety

The safety of the team

The biosafety is defined as: “set of measures and provisions, some of which are sufficient to be the subject of a law, whose has the main objective the human , animal, vegetal and environmental (...) protection, against the other elements that aren’t of strictly of biological origin, but are able to form risk and aggression.” According to a Chilean biosafety manual of the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development and the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (both are Chilean entities)

Because one of the principal worries of the team was keep intact the physical integrity of each of the students, we had to take special attention to the ambit of the security inside of the laboratory

In our case, to work with genetically modified bacteria we have to considerer various aspect about the biosafety. Every time that an experiment is realized, we have to evaluate if is potentially dangerous for the human or also for the same project, so we have to take the required precautions to do the experiment. Under this same thought, every work and experiment do at the laboratory, was planned before, arguing why we have to do and which is the most secure way to do it according to the objective of the project. In the case that the experiment is carried out, there are some rules and statutes that we have to follow.

In our project to work and modify the E. coli bacteria through synthetic biology, can lead certain risks, which as scientists and team we must know how to handle. In our case, or bacteria will sense the high levels of ionizing radiation, which causes mutations, that in our case, it’s going to change color and release a lemon scent, so that the specialist knows that he or she is in a dangerous medium for his or her health, and take the corresponding precautions, like go out of the enclosure.

The students, at the beginning of the project, they are conscious of the damage that they can receive when they are working with fungus, bacteria and contaminated material. For this, they follow during this 2 years the verbatim the security protocols described above and know them so that if this happen, they be prepared.

Inside the laboratory

Because to that in the laboratory we work with differents agent that can damage our physical integrity, it was informed to the team the risk that were around us and that we could understand them, in special at our work area: The laboratory. In this classes, it was shown different security measurements that we have to take, like: The equipment that everyone had to have to handle any biological element of the laboratory. In synthesis, it was subdivided into different parts:

Personal protection:

For the security of the member of the team himself or herself, always have to wear the lab coat, closed shoes, large pants, gloves and tied hair. In the event that the element is chemical corrosive or sharp puncturing, the person must be with appropriate glasses and gloves.​

Also, on the one hand, anyone handling a biological organism should wash their hands with rich soap, and then disinfect their hands with alcohol. Therefore, anyone who has handled any element of the laboratory, must wash their hands with rich soap before leaving the room.

In the work area, we have to keep clear of all materials except those we needed for our work. Clean up the work area after the use and before leaving. The material must be clean and sterilized, and every molecular reactive should be kept into ice.

Emergency equipment:

In case that an accident happens to some member of the laboratory, they must go to the emergency shower or the eyewash. In case of the structure of the building or laboratory suffers some damage that can be a potential risk for the integrity of the team, in the same construction there are fire extinguishers, which are close to all of the gas tap and alarms

The building:

Inside of the laboratory and of the building where it is located, all of emergency exits are marked according to the ACHS (Chilean Security Association)


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