Would any of your project ideas raise safety issues in terms of: researcher safety,
public safety, or environmental safety?

Since our project doesn’t involve producing dangerous products, nor any modification that could be pathogen, there is no evident issues concerning public or the researcher’s safety , except the well-known risks of all molecular biology researches.
Of course, any bacterial modification implies the risk of genetic transduction in other bacteria, which consequences we cannot predict; that’s why we have designed a way to prevent the bacteria from escapping. (see Cell Death module)
Environmentally speaking, the energy source used by bacteria is obtained from wastewaters, and residual carbone is found, at the end of the process, in the bacterial sludge, so the global carbone balance is null. Furthermore, the dihydrogen produced could be used as an alternative to other pollutive and limited energy sources.

Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year
raise any safety issues?

No, all of the BioBricks we sent or intended to send were made from DNA parts usually used in our host lab, with no particular safety issues.

Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your

Yes, there is a biosafety committee specific of the ULB Institute of Molecular Biology and Medicine, which was our host lab. This committee authorizes or refuses any new project to be carried in the institute, including end of studies works and thesis, which is routine, except if the project includes, for example, the manipulation of pathogenic organisms.
See the Bioethics part, section biosecurity for more detailed explanation about the standard protocol to follow in Belgium, in order to obtain the authorization to carry out a new experimentation.

If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project?

Since all the DNA parts we designed were already used, in different projects in our host lab, our project was considered routine and was not subject to any specific decision of the committee. We didn’t have special presentations to do or forms to fill and obtained quite automatically the authorization to manipulate.

If no, which specific biosafety rules or guidelines do you have to
consider in your country?
Do you have any other ideas how to deal with safety issues that could
be useful for future iGEM competitions? How could parts, devices and
systems be made even safer through biosafety engineering?

Perhaps potential pathogens or environmentally problematic parts should be referenced, with a dangerousness rate, based on a standard classification.
More drastically, having a standardized cell death system that could be easily implemented in any cell or project presenting safety issues could be helpful.