Team:Tongji China/Safety

Tongji iGEM - Safety
Tongji iGEM
TongJi iGEM
Working in a place safe for the scientists and the enviroment.

Laboratory Information

All the members of Tongji-China have always considered bio-safety of great importance. Our main advisor on the topic has been Lei Xue, a professor of genetics at the school of life sciences at Tongji University. His research areas include the molecular and genetic mechanisms of tumorigenesis and apoptosis in the Drosophila model organism. Professor Xue and other researchers in the lab supervised us and gave us a lot of guidance in our fruit fly experiments.


In our project we use 2 kinds of organism: Drosophila melanogaster and Escherichia coli. E.coli is an organisms of the Level 1 risk goup. And because D.melanogaster is not included in the iGEM White List, we contacted the Safety committee, Gender Diversity committee and Human Practices committee and got permissions.

Even though E.coli is not harmful for the environment and health, we still assume that it may threaten the ecology. We used rubber gloves and lab coats when doing the experiments to keep the organisms from direct touching with human body. We also did all the experiments with these living organism in the laminar flow bench to prevent those organism from getting into the outside air. After the experiments we used a NaClO solution to sterilize the waste such as the used agar plate and the used tips. What's more, everytime after we finish our work, we uses UV light to sterilize the lab.

We attached great importance to the safety of Drosophila melanogaster experiments and learnt experimental operation earnestly in Xue's Lab. We took exaustive measures to prevent the flies from escaping. After asking Xue's permission, we took photos to show how we keep the flies contained.

We used glass tubes with cotton plugs to keep the fruit flies in the lab and different samples were placed in different incubators with a safety lock. In the process of culturing them the fruit flies can not escape the incubator.

The lab is divided by function into several areas and separated by double-doors. For example there are the student-resting area, inoculation area, experimental area and so on. The inoculation area is located at the innermost and its ventilation is carried out only by the center ventilation system. Air in the center ventilation system will be disposed of expertly so that the fruit flies escaping from incubator will be collected.

Vinegar traps and sticky traps are placed in all the areas in order to prevent any escape. They mimic the smell of rotting fruits and attract fruit flies which will be stuck or drowned in the traps.

We also used as few flies as possible in the verification experiment and in other the experiments we used E.coli as experimental subject.


Members in our team have read the established laboratory safety principles of our school, and the topics in our safety training can be summarized as follows:

Non-Biological Operations

Handling chemicals
Dealing with emergency measures (such as fire, electric leakage or negligent wounds)
Instruments and facilities operation principles

Biological Operations

Potential pollution source of our engineering bacterium (Escherichia coli)
Effective protection during organism operations
Waste materials handling measures
Emission rules

University Rules

Our team has doctoral students as our supervisors to ensure that our execution is correct and prevent any safety problems. Team members who participated in the biological experiments have been in a lab at least since grade one and working in it for at least 2 years. In order to ensure the safety of the project, all the members received biosafety training. The biosafety guidelines of our institution can be describe as follows:

1. All laboratories must be specially designed with the necessary protective measures.
2. All laboratories must set up strict management systems, standard operation procedures and rules.
3. Each instrument needs a special person to be responsible for its regular inspection and maintenance.
4. Each staff member should be equipped with personal safety equipment to avoid direct contact with the pathogenic microorganism or toxic chemicals.
5. Laboratories should establish emergency handling procedures and have routine inspection for all of the equipment.
6. New staff members should be well trained and pass the experiment test before performing experiments themselves. Only those who passed the test can get a key card.
7. Before using every instrument staff members have to swipe their key card and input their student number and password.

Laws and Regulations

Our laboratory completely complies with Chinese laws and regulations and pass the periodic inspection every year. The relevant regulations can be found here, and here.







Ignis Fly

Tongji_China iGEM 2017 Team