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The concept of clean as you go was enforced in both Labs that experiments by Owligo team was conducted. A clean lab is a safe lab.

I. Safe Project Design

This year, the Birkbeck iGEM team did not handle any organism above Risk Group1. 2 strains of E. coli were used (DH5α & 10β). All transformantions (and subsequent transformants) were handled in a Cat 2 laminar flow hood as a precaution. None of the biobricks formed were of risk.

For conducting experiments, standard operating procedure (SOPs) were drafted. Each SOP had to be approved by supervisors/advisors. After approval, a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment was carried out. Every member of the team had to fully understandand and signed by each student which enters the lab.

II. Avoiding Environmental Contamination

In Lab 307 (Birkbeck Main Campus, Mallet Street), liquid cultures in glassware were autoclaved & washed. Cultures in plastic disposable tubes were decanted into glass tubes and autoclaved. The plastic were autoclaved & disposed of. Pipette tips used for transferring live cultures were bleached (10% vol/vol) prior to autoclaving.

In Lab G09, glassware was soaked in virkon (30-60 minutes) prior to cleaning. In the case of disposable culture tubes, virkon was added for 30-60 minutes. Plastic tubes were rinsed & autoclaved.

III. Extended Measures to Ensure Safety

In each of the labs, a safety induction was carried out along with the distribution of the health & safety documentation for each of the labs. Prior to access being granted, all students MUST attend each induction (insert the documents).

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