Every member of our team has been trained about general lab safety and project design safety by our previous members. For example, the former leader and our advisors taught us how to run the experiment correctly and avoid mistakes.
Project design safety
For the safety of our team members, we designed the project to be as safe as possible. The core of our project is to express human sweet receptor T1R2-T1R3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The whole project has no harm to the human body. In the process of implementation of the project we chose the mRFP as a reporter gene which can be detected directly without adding any harmful reagents.
Our team conducted research in a safety level 1/2 laboratory. The organisms we used, E. coli strain DH5α, BL21, Top 10 and S.c strain CEN.PK2-1C are suitable for the S1/2-safety laboratory we are working in. Besides, the plasmids we are using for transformation (pRS42K, pESC-Ura, pESC-Trp, pESC-His, pESC-Leu, pSB1C3) are not harmful for humans.
Because of the nature of our project, contacting with microorganisms is inevitable. In order to avoid any harmful effects to each member of our team, all laboratory work was in accordance with the safety requirements for the laboratory. This includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:
- (1) Eating, drinking and smoking are prohibited in the laboratory.
- (2) Don’t deal with the wastes at will.
- (3) All experimenters must wear protective equipment such as gloves and Lab coats.
- (4) All equipments that come into contact with biological material (such as tips and glass glassware) must be autoclaved.
- (5) Store quick-burning, flammable materials in designated locations which are away from ignition sources for fire protection. And there is no accumulated clutter in the hallway, for our safety while accident happening.
- (6) Laboratory for experiments, seminar rooms for research and discussion, and the office used to search for information and analyze data are rigorously divided. These provisions are intended to prevent the possibility of unnecessary cross-contamination in the laboratory.
We tried to avoid the use of dangerous chemicals whenever possible. We have completely banned a number of dangerous chemicals, such as ethidium bromide which had been replaced by anthocyanin for our DNA gel electrophoresis. At the same time, we have restricted the use of dangerous chemicals (such as acrylamide) which must be clearly placed in marked areas in the laboratory. And we were also required to keep the chemistry reagents in classified storage.