Team:HokkaidoU Japan/Safety

The chassis organism we are using for this project.

  • E. coli (K 12) TOP10

Highest Risk Group Listed

Risk Group 1

Description of the biological materials we are using in the lab

Risks to the safety and health of team members or others working in the lab

Some materials possess risks to team members. For example, Ethidium Bromide is an intercalating agent so it must be used by with personal safety gear. All lab staffs were trained according to safety manual provided by Hokkaido University, to prevent risks. We took on ourselves to compile a shortlist of often used dangerous materials and safety procedures in our project.

Dangerous chemicals

Ethidium Bromide
intercalating agent : must be used with personal safety gear
flammable : must not be used near open flame or in large quantities

Procedures and equipment

Agarose gel production
heating in sealed container (rupture risk), scalding hot and vicious during preparation (burn injury risk) - remove container lid before heating in microwave, use safety gear, wait for a few moments before removing from microwave
Benson burner
fire risk: DO NOT use flammable materials especially ethanol near open fire
high velocity: balance appropriately, observe the machine till it reaches top velocity
high pressure: check the water level, DO NOT open when pressurized
UV radiation
damage to eyes and skin: use glove and UV box or UV shield

Non-pathogenic bacteria (policy requires treating as pathogenic, as precaution)

  • E. coli (K 12) TOP10
This is a safe strain. As a precaution all materials coming in contact are sterilized before and after. Reference Federal Register, (1986) Vol. V1: 88, 6952–1,6985

Safety equipment

  • Gloves
  • Coats
  • Goggles
  • UV Box
  • UV shield
  • Clean bench

Waste disposal and sterilization

  • All equipment and wastes coming in contact with bacterial were sterilized by autoclave or bleach.
  • All chemical compounds were disposed according to requirements for their disposal.
  • Table surface used for work were sterilized with 70% ethanol before and after a procedure.

Chemical Usage

All chemical compounds were used according to their manuals and respective material safety data sheets.

Genetic material

All genes used in this project come from non-pathogenic bacterial strains of E. coli. Expressed proteins did not show any toxic effect to their host. Our biobricks do not have any foreseeable selective advantage if released to the environment. After consideration we could not find any usage pausing a security concern.

Risks to the safety and health of the general public, if released by design or by accident

Some materials pose risks to the general public. For example, Ethanol is a flammable solution so it must not be used by open fire. Not to release those materials, all lab staff is trained according to safety manual provided by Hokkaido University.

Risks to the environment, if released by design or by accident

The E. coli strains we use in our lab, are saved in our lab. As a precaution all materials coming in contact are sterilized before and after. Reference Federal Register, (1986) Vol. V1: 88, 6952-16985.

Risks to security through malicious misuse by individuals, groups, or countries

There is no foreseeable risk in misuse of our generated genetic material. Our generated genetic material performs basic functions in biology. However, it is impossible to guard against the incorporation of our parts in malicious settings.

Risks which might arise when our project move from a small-scale lab study to become widely used as a commercial/industrial product

Our project is about optimizing the expression of genes. Our device does not contain a coding site. Therefore, risk will arise when other users assemble our parts with dangerous coding sites. We have to caution the users when assembling with dangerous coding sites.

Design features to address safety risks

Our device only contains sequences that regulate the expression of genes (Promoter, RBS, and terminator). Therefore, our device in itself does not contain any safety risks and does not have design feature to address safety risks.

Safety training we received

8 members of our team received a lecture class regarding gene recombination that was held in Hokkaido University, and shared the information with the whole team. It is based on 'Act on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity through Regulations on the Use of Living Modified Organisms'.

Biosafety provisions

Link to our institution biosafety guidelines

Our Institutional Biosafety Committee

We have a permission to engage in the experiments from the safety officer of genetic recombination of Hokkaido University. All members participating in the experiments are registered with this office. All members are trained according to the safety demands of safety officer of genetic recombination.

Our country's national biosafety regulations and guidelines

Japan is participating in cartagena act.

Biosafety Level rating of our lab

Our lab's Bio safety level is 2.

The Risk Group of our chassis organisms

The Risk Group of our chassis organisms is 1.

Faculty Advisor

Sone Teruo
Yamazaki Ken-ichi