The iGEM competition is the birthplace to many innovative ideas aimed at improving processes in synthetic biology by working with Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEO). However, most projects involve a risk of GEOs dissemination outside the laboratory, which raises environmental issues. To prevent such a risk, we designed a biosafety system that would prevent or at least dramatically limit the chances of accidental GEO spreading.
The system consists in both a physical confinement which still allows the GEO to carry out its main function, and a temperature-based containment which ensures the survival of the organism in a restricted temperature range. Escherichia coli was chosen to implement the temperature based system due to its wide use in the iGEM projects. Thus, our system dubbed SafetE.coli could provide the iGEM teams with a "safer" chassis which is less likely to contaminate the environment.Poster of the project SafetE.Coli iGEM Paris-Saclay 2015