Everyone in our team who worked in the lab had previous experience from lab work. They had also received mandatory training on how to work safely in the laboratory as a part of their studies.

Some of the topics of this training include personal protective equipment, how to work with different chemicals and GMOs and dispose of them, how to mark reagents, and training on safety labels, biosafety levels, most common lab accidents and how to avoid them, different types of hoods, the importance of proper planning and cleaning up.

Additionally, we had a lab safety lecture held by an instructor specifically about the lab we worked in, covering similar topics (PPE, waste disposal etc.). All of our team members who worked in the lab took part to this lecture and the following round in the lab spaces. Furthermore, the location of first aid kits, fire extinguishers and emergency showers in the laboratory were shown to us by an instructor. None of our team members were allowed to be alone in the lab and work during nights or weekends always needed a permission from the lab personnel.

Our project

During our project we used the appropriate lab safety protocols. Our project did not pose any serious risk to anyone’s health as we are working with level 1 organism, Escherichia coli TOP10, . Brettanomyces, S. cerevisae yeasts and low hazardous chemicals exept - Ethydium bromide - which is considered mutagen, carcinogen and teratogen, we were especially careful. We consistently used the stronger (purple) nitrile gloves and were cautious not to touch unnecessary objects when using them to prevent contamination of surfaces and equipment with ethidium bromide and maintain the required level of safety. In any case, ethidium bromide can only be used in the so-called 'electrophoresis lab'. No equipment or consumables used for work with ethidium bromide is allowed to leave this lab (except for waste sealed in a bag).. The genes are not pathogenic and thus do not raise any threats to anyone’s health. When disposing of any possible toxic chemicals, tips, Petri dishes with growth and any other disposable lab equipment that may have made contact with microorganisms or possible toxic chemicals, we used a separate waste bin which is firstly autoclaved and then discarded as waste. This ensures organisms do not accidently escape and grow outside the laboratory.