Space Open Life Science Team for International Collaborative Exploration (SOLSTICE)


The spaceflight environment causes significant changes to the structure and function of the cardiovascular system, including fluid redistribution, alterations in blood pressure, and changes in cardiac output. The goal of the SOLSTICE project is to quantitatively summarize the data on the effects of actual or simulated microgravity and radiation exposure resulting from spaceflight on the cardiovascular system through an open citizen science approach. Additionally, this program was designed to reach students and young people that are underrepresented in STEM, to include women, minorities, individuals of disadvantaged backgrounds, etc. Initially, a group of investigators, through a collaboration with the Ames Life Science Data Archive (ALSDA) Analysis Working Group at NASA developed a list of relevant cardiovascular search terms. Based on these search terms, medical librarians generated and executed the search strategy in Medline, CINAHL, Embase and NASA repositories. In parallel, students and young professionals from various space industry-affiliated organizations were invited to join this pilot project, resulting in the addition of ~100 individuals. These individuals completed a virtual training course on the nature and methodologies of the project and were then structured into teams with more senior individuals designated as team leaders. Currently, the teams are screening approximately 15,000 studies using the systematic review tool, Covidence. Teams will be extracting and curating data for meta-analysis of the cardiovascular spaceflight literature, but also extracting, submitting, and curating appropriate datasets into the new Open Science Data Repository (OSDR). This effort will result in collaborative publications based upon the literature meta-analyses, and a number of publicly accessible datasets for reuse, modeling, machine learning, and knowledge graph-type approaches.


Please contact Svetlana Komarova (svetlana.komarova@mcgill.ca), Sunny Narayanan (anarayan09@gmail.com), or Ryan Scott (ryan.t.scott@nasa.gov) if you are interested in learning more about the project or joining the team.