New SOPs

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Standard Operating Procedures for Proper Use of Equipment in the Ecublens Space

Certain Hackuarium equipment could not be fit within the laboratory spaces, in particular the microbiology hoods and the ultracentrifuge (the latter especially because of needs for 370V power). Instead, these are found around the corner from the Biolab.
In order to use this space safely, if our Biolab is authorised to do P1 experimentation with BSL1 organisms (and selection for antibiotic resistance markers, for example), certain extra precautions should always be made, which these Standard Operating Procedures will set out.

initial steps

Whenever work in the lab is being done, and one would like to go to another part of the building, for instance to use the hood or the ultracentrifuge, but also to simply go to the common room, the first rule is to sterilise hands with Sterilium by the door of the Biolab, on the 'safety shelf' to the right of the doorway. After this, one can exit the lab, and then wash hands directly with soap and water at one of the sinks by the bathrooms.
Of course, lab coats must never be worn outside of the labs in common spaces of the site! If needed, extra coats (or dispo) will be provided to take to the other areas, where sterile work is undertaken.
Because both of these pieces of equipment need to be plugged in with extension cords, in particular a large one for the ultracentrifuge, cautionary signs will be placed in clear view, to avoid any tripping hasards.

use of the small sterile hood

After taking the usual initial precautions (cleaned hands, no lab coat):
The should be wiped down with alcohol, turned on for at least 15 minutes, and again wiped down with alcohol before beginning any manipulations. The material to be manipulated (plates strains) will be prepared in the biolab, and placed in a sealed plastic box and wiped down with alcohol on all outer surfaces before going to the the hood.
After all work is complete (streaking, culture inoculation etc), the materials should again be sealed in the box to be brought back to the lab space (and put in the incubator for cultivation, for example).

use of the ultracentrifuge

Following all the initial precautions in leaving the lab, the prepared materials to be centrifuged will be taken out in a box, as in the above description: briefly, the sealed box is wiped down with alcohol before taking it out of the lab.
Care must be taken to have balanced samples for the spin, of course.
After the run is complete (i.e. 5k rpm for 10min to pellet a bacterial culture in 200ml bottles), the materials should again be placed in the box to be carried back to lab.
Supernatent liquids will be poured out carefully, and disinfected properly for disposal with some bleach.

Going back to double check that the rotor has not been contaminated, and cleaning properly with water then alcohol, if needed, is the next step to not be forgotten.

preventing covid-19

Always wash hands before touching your face!
Wear a mask if physical distancing from others is not possible.
If soap and water is not available, use disinfectant...

This is the 'diy' recipe from the WHO, adapted for the hydrogen peroxide and volume of alcohol readily available in Swiss pharmacies:

150ml 96% Ethanolum (includes 0.1% camphor)
7.51ml H2O2 (3% solution)
2.61ml glycerol (98% solution)
9.88ml dH2O
(final volume: 180ml)

getting the best out of the current space

Project boxes are used to store project specific equipment, so things aren't left lying about the lab...
Please make sure to tidy the space after manipulations, so the next people coming to do something are able to do what they need to do!
Separate out waste and follow the safety guidelines!
If something will be left out or on (i.e. the plates you just poured, the incubator), label with instructions, dates and initials, so no one can complain... :)


The coop space includes 2 lab spaces for Hackuarium, plus a bit more.
Maurice and his student, taking precautions in the Octanis space during the covid-19 pandemic.
Terrariums by Vanessa and Tatiana.
and the gorgeous orchids - that only lost their flowers finally in June 2020...

This will take you back to more information for the P1 lab use and biosafety.