ESBS - Strasbourg

Safety and Ethics

Biosafety and ethics are very important issues when a technology of any kind matures from the laboratory idea out to a product. Any new kind of technology can have a risk to the environment or the health of humans. Also public acceptance can decide the fate of the success of a technology. So careful consideration have to be done before during and after the project and the laboratory work.
All team members who worked in the laboratory had safety courses concerning the handling of chemical and biological agents. And an additional lecture about laboratory safety was provided before the laboratory work had begun.
As genes from arabidopsis thaliana and E.coli were just slightly altered to delete internal restriction sides, no safety issues were raised.

Do any of our project ideas raise safety issues in terms of researcher safety, public safety, or environmental safety?

None beyond the usual safety requirements as provided for a level one laboratory.

Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at our institution?

Yes it is the ACMO (Agent Chargé de la Mise en Oeuvre des règles d'hygiènes et de sécurité) (Person in charge for Implementation of the rules of hygiene and safety) represented by Geatan Mislin and Elisabeth Bertrand

What does our local biosafety group think about your project?

The group approved the ESBS iGEM project 2010.

Do any of the new BioBrick parts that we made this year raise any safety issues?

No. The key parts are the phytochrome B and the ClpXP protease of E.coli. The modification in the sequences just changed the internal restriction sides for AgeI, EcoRI and SpeI. This system is used to tightly control protein degradation of tagged proteins. This should allow a closer studying of gene dynamics and raises no safety issue.