Practice Safe Science
Genetic engineering and life sciences are safe activities when you follow simple guidelines. Read on to ensure you adopt safe practices, and find useful resources at the end of the post.Amino Labs kits contain only non-pathogenic components. These are part of the biosafety Risk Group 1 (RG1) or Biosafety Level 1 (BSL1). This is the most benign level and therefore the safest: with these kits, no special containment or training is required in North America. (Have a look at this post for more information on the bacteria used in Amino Labs' genetic engineering experiments).
- Do not eat or drink near your experiments. Keep your experiment at least 10 feet from food, drinks, etc. Under no circumstances should you eat any of the kit’s content.
- Immunocompromised persons: While the ingredients in these kits are non-pathogenic, some persons, such as immunocompromised persons, can be affected by large numbers of bacteria and should talk to their doctor before doing any experiment.
- Wash your hands before and after manipulating your experiment, or the hardware.
- Wear gloves, even when cleaning your station or handling the kit contents (Petri plates, loops, etc). This will protect you from your experiment, and your experiment from you. Any latex, nitrile, or general-purpose gloves you can find at the pharmacy will do. After you put your gloves on, be aware of what you touch. Try not to touch your face, scratch itches with your gloved fingers!
- If using the DNA Playground or BioExplorer place it on a stable work surface. Keep it level at all times.
- Clean up your station, spills and work surface before and after use. Use a 10% solution of chlorinated bleach generously sprayed onto a paper towel and rub onto any contaminated surfaces. (Careful! This can discolour your clothes). A chlorinated spray cleaner also works.
- Find a container to hold the inactivation bag where you will discard used consumables. An old 1L yogurt container, large plastic cup or the like will do. Used consumables will be loops, any tube or used petri dish.
- Eye-wear is not provided but can be worn.
Find these guidelines in a printer-friendly pdf here
Free Safe Science Resources:
|Watch our Safe Science Video on Youtube. This animation goes over the safety protocols you should keep in mind when doing life science. You can follow it up with the safety quiz below!
|Complete a short safety quiz at www.amino.bio/biosafety-quiz before completing any experiments.
|Download the Biosafety in Action poster made by the Public Health Agency of Canada for your space at www.amino.bio/biosafetyinaction.
|Download the What is Biosafety poster made by the Public Health Agency of Canada for your space at www.amino.bio/whatisbiosafety.
|Download a Biosecurity poster made by the Public Health Agency of Canada for your space at https://amino.bio/biosecurity to learn what biosecurity is and the importance of safe genetic engineering. While this poster mentions “bacteria” as a biosecurity risk, remember there is a difference between different types of bacteria and between “Risk Groups” (also known as Biosafety levels. When using Amino Labs products, you are only using RG-1 organisms (Biosafety level 1 or BSL1) The biosecurity poster, in general, refers to “pathogenic organisms” that are RG-2 (BSL2) or higher. Learn more about Biosafety levels and Amino Labs here
|If you would like to do a short online lab safety course for your edification, we recommend a Government of Canada course: www.amino.bio/biosafety
|Don't forget to take the Genetic Engineering Hero's pledge found in your Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero book, or print it out and sign it here.
|If you are an educator, download the free Safety & lab setup Lesson Guide here
|See our fun lab safety animations on our instagram.
|Learn how to inactivate bacteria at-home or in class in this youtube video
|Have a look at the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS or SDS) for the kits
*If you are outside of North America, please see our FAQ page to learn more where you can practice these activities safely, and according to your local legislation.