Team:NU Kazakhstan/Safety

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Safe Lab Work

Organisms used in the lab are BL1 organisms. Non-pathogenic strain of E.coli was used, such as DH5alpha.
All the necessary actions were taken to keep the laboratory safe for work and environment:

  • The first two meetings of the team were fully dedicated to the safety instructions
  • All the work in the lab was performed wearing the special attire for the lab with Biosafety Level 1: lab coats, gloves, closed shoes, goggles when working with harmful reagents, and the long hair was tied back
  • Each team member was required to wash their hands with detergent before and after the work in the lab
  • The biological organisms and their residues were disinfected using 10% bleach and discarded into the specialized boxes for biological wastes
  • The work with organisms was done inside the sterile hoods separate for bacteria and for algae
  • The laboratory rooms are equipped with eyewashes, fire- extinguishers, emergency showers, fire- alarms, wastes for the sharp objects, biological wastes, wastes for organic and inorganic substances, first- aid kits, and emergency exits

Kill-switch Device

Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is not pathogenic, however it is genetically modified to function as effective microorganism for bioremediation. In order to avoid the leakage and survival of modified algae to the environment, safety system was created. In this project safety system based on the membrane bound version of the Supernova, which is monomeric version of KillerRed. Supernova induce production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), hence some vital proteins are deactivated by ROS, promoting the death of the cells under light of wavelength 579-670 nm. Thus, the genetically modified algae would be kept inside the system where the mentioned wavelength is eliminated. In case of escaping of GMO from the closed system, the organism is killed under the normal wavelength of sunlight.