Emilicious's picture
DO YOU SANITIZE YOUR LABS BEFORE GENETICALLY ENGINEERING ORGANISMS?

A:Expert Answer

We sanitize our labs before and after working with all organisms, regardless of whether they are genetically engineered or not. We work with microbial strains that are sometimes genetically modified but other times are not. We also work with plant cells and tissues under sterile conditions that may or may not be genetically engineered. It is critical to sanitize our work areas to maintain the purity of our cultures. The fact that we sometimes use genetically engineered organisms does not influence the need to sanitize our work areas in a more specific way. Sanitization of all work spaces is a standard procedure and a strict requirement in all of our facilities at Bayer.

Comments

Kevin Folta's picture

In my lab it is important that everything is clean and contamination free. It is not so much that we need to protect ourselves from the science-- we need to protect the science from US! From tissue culture to RNA preparation to PCR, we work with amazingly sensitive techniques that require great care and cleanliness. Even a single fungal spore can wreck a lot of work! Plus, getting the best purity and quality frequently depends on technique and cleanliness.

We work with recombinant DNA and transgenic yeast, bacteria and plants. The rules are strict and enforced. Even with that, there is absolutely nothing I'm nervous about handling at all. We understand what the genes do, and that makes it very simple.