The safety of students and supervisors in the laboratories, as well as the environment, is paramount. Therefore, our group places great importance on theoretical and practical safety instruction and compliance. In the following, we show how we ensure the safety from equipment, chemicals and genetically modified organisms during the iGEM competition.

Laboratory equipment

The iGEM project was carried out in the laboratories of Professor Franz Narberhaus and Professor Dirk Tischler. The equipment of the laboratories includes:

• fume hoods

• refractory laboratory benches

• first aid kit

• eye and emergency showers

• fire extinguishers

Safety Briefing

Prior to accessing and working in a laboratory, a mandatory safety briefing for the S1 laboratories was held by Dr. Judith Tischler. This safety instruction covers:

• laboratory regulations

• behavior in the event of danger and possible escape routes

• handling genetically modified organisms

• chemical safety

• wearing safety equipment

Mandatory practical instruction in the laboratories was provided by the supervisors and technical assistants.

These consisted of a tour of the laboratory and instruction on the use of certain labs, such as the autoclave room, the use of centrifuges and the proper disposal of chemicals. Compliance with the safety instructions was strictly controlled.

Working in the laboratory

After attending the safety briefing the students were allowed to work in the lab. Wearing a lab coat was mandatory when working in the lab. Chemicals were handled only with protective goggles and gloves.

Students were taught biochemical technics by supervisors and were also required to learn about potential hazards before performing each experiment. They were under constant supervision by experienced supervisors while operating in the lab.

Waste Disposal

To ensure proper disposal, everything was labeled precisely. Materials that came into contact with GMOs were collected in waste bins and autoclaved. Surfaces and object that could not be autoclaved were disinfected. Chemicals were inactivated and properly disposed of.


Our team worked with four organisms throughout the competition: E. coli DH5𝛼 and E. coli S17, Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis. All strains are classified under Biosafety Risk Group 1 and GRAS organism. Newly genetically modified organisms were tabulated.