Team:NOVA LxPortugal/Safety

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Laboratory Safety

During our work in the lab, we have always made sure to keep it a safe workspace. Even though Bacillus subtilis is considered a GRAS organism (Generally Regarded as Safe), there was still the need to address the health security of all people involved, as well as biosecurity concerns. As such, we made sure to respect the safety regulations imposed by Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier (ITQB) [1]. This implies that all team members involved in laboratory work had to read the safety manual from ITQB [1], where said regulations are stated. There was always a supervisor present in the lab, making sure that the students were handling equipment correctly and following all the safety rules. COVID-19 regulations imposed by ITQB were also followed.

Biosecurity in our Implementation Plan

Biosafety measures are important to avoid disastrous consequences in the environment. We have been trying to develop bioreactors to contain our bacteria and ways to bring the microplastics from the environment to avoid contaminating the environment and affecting the ecosystem. In addition, we have thought of ways to implement our project, and its feasibility, in wastewater treatment plants. Some wastewater treatment processes use microorganisms and already have biosafety measures implemented so that the effluent won’t damage the environment. Additionally, in case everything else fails, we have planned to include a kill switch in our genetic circuit, as a means to prevent cell viability and subsequent genetic spread in case of an unwanted leak.


  1. ITQB NOVA. Safety Manual for all activities at ITQB NOVA.