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Our safety policies

General Lab Safety Protocols

Inside the laboratory, some rules must be applied:

When manipulating, each member was equipped with standard laboratory attire such as lab coats, gloves, security glasses, long pants and closed shoes. No eating or drinking were allowed. Access to the laboratory was also limited to authorized personnel who have received proper training by a supervisor and emergency preparedness. Strict disposal protocols were in place for any materials that come into contact with P. putida KT2440, minimizing the chances of spreading the bacterium unintentionally. Hands were washed before and after experiments and all work surfaces were decontaminated when finished or when necessary (spill/splash) with ethanol 70% and phagosoft. Sharp objects were handled safely (needs, scalpels, pipettes, broken glassware) and the biological waste was managed separately.

Use of chemical substances:

The table below lists hazardous chemicals employed by our team in the iGEM competition. Each member of the laboratory team was provided with standard laboratory safety gear, along with personalized safety instructions for handling these substances.

Specific guidelines when using the Pseudomonas putida strain:

Pseudomonas putida has quickly emerged as a robust candidate for industrial production due to its metabolic versatility, genetic accessibility and stress‐resistance properties. In the literature, the P. putida strain KT2440 has been previously classified as Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS), implying it is safe for use as a food additive. However, it was later determined that this classification was inaccurate. P. putida KT2440 has since received certification as a host–vector (HV) system safety level 1 (HV1) by the FDA. HV1 certification indicates that P. putida KT2440 is considered safe to work with in a Physical Containment Level 1 (P1) or Microbiological Containment Level 1 (ML1) facility. Similar to E. coli K12, no additional safety measures are necessary when working with this strain

How to handle pseudomonas putida step by step:

It starts with strain validation. Prior to embarking on any work, it is paramount to perform a thorough verification of the strain's identity and genetic characteristics. This ensures that you are indeed working with the intended organism. Then containment measures should be taken into consideration. This means implementing a combination of biosafety cabinets and rigorous sterilization techniques to prevent inadvertent releases into the environment. Personnel training should also be done as all individuals engaging with the bacterium should undergo comprehensive safety training. Access to the laboratory should be limited to authorize only personnel who have received proper training. Emphasis should be placed on correct handling procedures and how to respond in the event of an emergency. All members should also have a standard laboratory attire that includes lab coats, gloves, safety goggles, and closed-toe shoes, providing an additional layer of protection against potential exposure. Moreover, consumption of food, beverages, or smoking should be strictly prohibited within the laboratory premises. This minimizes the risk of contamination. Also strict disposal protocols should be in place for any materials that come into contact with P. putida KT2440, minimizing the chances of spreading the bacterium unintentionally. To achieve this, it's essential to establish an emergency preparedness plan that includes thoroughly documented protocols for managing incidents, promptly reporting them, and conducting decontamination in impacted areas. Lastly, regular safety audits should be done with safety inspections and audits to identify and rectify any potential issues proactively.