Biosafety

Researchers must complete training before conducting experiments involving recombinant and synthetic DNA, infectious agents, and human materials. This page contains all the resources you will need to begin experimental work with various biological materials. 

Harvard Resources

Please read the Harvard Environmental Health and Safety EHS Safe Biological Work Practices and Biosafety.

Biosafety at Harvard and thirteen Affiliated Institutions is regulated by a standing faculty committee called the Committee on Microbiological Safety (COMS). Information, forms, permits, and links regarding biological research at Harvard can be found our their website.

Material Safety Data Sheets for Infectious Substances

These MSDS are produced for personnel working in the life sciences as quick safety reference material relating to infectious micro-organisms. The MSDS are organized to contain health hazard information such as infectious dose, viability (including decontamination), medical information, laboratory hazard, recommended precautions, handling information and spill procedures.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC’s main Biosafety web page contains a wealth of important information. Excellent biosafety guidance can be found in Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL 5th Edition, a publication from the CDC. The CDC’s recommendations for tissue culture hoods (biosafety cabinets) are published in Primary Containment for Biohazards: Selection, Installation and Use of Biological Safety Cabinets, 2nd Edition.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The Office of Biotechnology Activities monitors scientific progress in human genetics research in order to anticipate future developments, including ethical, legal, and social concerns, in basic and clinical research involving Recombinant DNA, Genetic Technologies, and Xenotransplantation. NIH Guidelines For Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

In 1991, OSHA issued the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard to protect workers from the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

American Industrial Hygiene Association

An extensive collection of technical Biosafety information can be found on the AIHA website

American Biological Safety Association

A collection of Biosafety information and links can be found on the ABSA website, The American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) was founded in 1984 to promote biosafety as a scientific discipline and serve the growing needs of biosafety professionals throughout the world.

City of Cambridge

The Cambridge Recombinant DNA Technology Ordinance establishes strict oversight of university and commercial laboratories that engage in recombinant DNA research. Information on the Ordinance and how to apply for a permit to work with recombinant DNA can be found by following the link.