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There are 4 questions in Safety.

1. Safety of Project

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

  • Public safety

To ensure the safety of both the public and researchers, we consulted our advisors when planning out our project. In the process, we abandoned many of our ideas due to the concern that they may raise safety issues:

For example, we first thought of using poisonous chemical compounds such as arsenic with the purpose of dealing with environmental pollution, but in the end, we reached the conclusion that it is too risky.


2. Safety of Parts

Q. Do any of the new BioBrick parts (or devices) that you made this year raise any safety issues? If yes, did you document these issues in the Registry? How did you manage to handle the safety issue? How could other teams learn from your experience?

A. No, we don't think so.


3. Safety Rules

Q. Is there a local biosafety group, committee, or review board at your institution? If yes, what does your local biosafety group think about your project? If no, which specific biosafety rules or guidelines do you have to consider in your country?

A. Yes: Laboratory of Science Communication and Bioethics, which belongs to the Kyoto University Graduate School of Bioscience, is in charge of making all the biological researches carried out in our institution transparent to the public. For detailed information on their activities, please visit the following websites: [1], [2]


4. Other Ideas

Q. 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?

A. We have one simple proposal: To set official iGEM standards for biosafety.

The number of iGEM participants is increasing every year, and so is the number of societies involved in the iGEM activities. Different societies have different rules(, though it might not be ideal when it comes to safety). Therefore, it may be reasonable to set standards to ensure every participating team meets a certain level of biosafety.

We suggest the following.

  • The standards are made through discussion among some researchers and experts in biosafety.
  • The standards are showed by a run of the item.
  • iGEM teams must keep the rules in this standards.
  • iGEM HQ visit some teams at random and without an appointment, and make sure that they keep the standars.