User privacy and data handling
Reliability of the software
Reliability of the software was tested by running every possible search combination. The information from the database is taken from published papers on NCBI. Links are provided to the original work so that researchers are able to look through the rigor of the original research.
Accessibility to the software
At iGEM Concordia, we believe that scientists should have access to necessary tools and information regardless of their economic capabilities. To ensure accessibility, we have made AstroBio an open-source software that is available to all of the microgravity research community.
Ethics & Safety
During the development of our software & web application, we have implemented a number of safety measures.
Ethics & Safety
Throughout our project design process, our team collaborated with Dr. Brandiff Caron, science and technology ethicist. We conducted a Real-Time Technology Assessment (RTTA) to analyze the ethical, legal, social and environmental implications of AstroYeast.
GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) Organisms
GRAS organisms were a top priority in choosing our host chassis. When methods which are meant to induce evolution are used, the acquisition of virulence is always a concern. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is placed as a low-risk organism in Canada, at the lowest Biosafety Level 1.
Standardized Lab Protocols from Collaborators
Human Practices was taken very seriously, investigating past utility into the possible risks that could present itself from our research. Respected people from a variety of related fields were questioned. The main constant was that most risks would need to be considered down the line in the implementation phase, for now risks are low thanks to standardized lab protocols.
Biological Kill Switches
Future work will be needed if this product eventually reaches a stage to hit the market. Research into biological kill switches is one area our team has done initial investigations in order to avoid forward contamination. As outer space is the environment for which AstroYeast is being adapted for, the effects on other microorganisms in space remain unknown and would require further research.