I am Nicolas Levrier from the Quaranskin Team, posting this project for review.
Participating to the iGEM competition of 2020, our team has been working since the beginning of the confinement in France (end of March) on a survey around the skin microbiome.
We think that the lockdown that followed the pandemic, and the social distancing measures that we are still experiencing today, are impacting our skin microbiome. To explore this hypothesis, we are carrying a study in which volunteers, throughout Europe, are asked to sample parts of their skin microbiome with cotton swabs (provided by us).
The study is organized as follow :
Step 1: To participate, volunteers are first sent a consent form (which you can find here 1) that specifies what use will be made of their data. If the volunteer gives his or her informed consent, we move onto the next step. We make sure to be available to answer any question and to withdraw from the study people that desire so.
Step 2: Participants registered in our study are being sent a participation kit containing all the material needed to sample their skin microbiome. After, sampling themselves, participants ship the swabs back to us and they answer a questionnaire to provide us with important information regarding their environment, age, and social/hygiene habits that could impact their skin microbiome (e.g. how much time they spend at home / outside, how frequently they wash, etc.).You can find this questionnaire here 2.
Step 3: Upon collection of all the cotton swabs, we send them to a sequencing company, Genewiz, that will sequence all the bacteria contained in the samples and send us the results.
Step 4: Once we have the results of the sequencing, we will analyze the sequencing data combined with the participant’s answers to provide context.
The results of this analysis will be used to understand better the dynamics of the skin microbiome, its evolution in the context of limited human interactions, and potentially identify unusual variations between different group of people, or potential rises of dysbiosis.
The participation to our study does not take longer than one hour to sample and answer the questionnaire. The participation to our study is also free for our participants, we are covering all the costs for the study.
Our study is currently being reviewed by the French Comités de Protection des Personnes (CPP).
To respect people’s privacy, all personal data will remain anonymous. To fit this guideline, we have assigned to each participant a random ID number through our Open Humans project page. This unique ID is used to link someone’s samples to his or her questionnaire.
As we plan to have about 70 participants, having our Open Humans project approved could allow us to reach our goals, the registrations being currently limited to 40 people.
Should this project be visible and available for all Open Humans members to join?
Participants need to register through a participation form, thus not available for all Open Humans members. However, some results will be published and available for all.
Please vote Approve or Deny , and/or comment.
· Activity page: https://www.openhumans.org/activity/quaranskin/
· Project review guide:
· Project guidelines: https://www.openhumans.org/community-guidelines/#project
· Title : Quaranskin
· Managed by: Ariel Lindner, Jake Edwin Wintermute, Radoslaw Ejsmont
· Description: The Quaranskin project is a 1-hour-long participation where volunteers are asked to sample their own skin microbiome and answer a questionnaire about personal informations such as age, sex but also hygiene and social habits. This study is one-of-a-kind as volunteers are actively participating in generating the sequencing data of their skin microbiome. The goals of this project is to see if citizen science can be applied in genomic studies and if yes, to gain a better understanding of skin microbiomes in the era of COVID-19 and social distancing.
We hope to see interesting correlations between specific behaviors and specific skin microbiome composition. No correlations at all would be also satisfying to see as it would support the hypothesis that social distancing and confinement had no impact on our skin microbiomes.
· Project website: quaranskin.cri-paris.org
· Data received: Skin microbiome data, pandemic related activities, personal informations and skin health status.
· Data added: Skin microbiome profile of each participants will be linked to their OpenHumans accounts
· Ethics review: Currently under the review of the French Comité de Protection des Personnes. As our project only involves skin swabbing and as we took care of the anonimity of our participants, our project should not generate concerns about the safety of the participants.
I hope this project has captured your interest and enthusiasm,
Je vous remercie,
Nicolas, on behalf of iGEM Paris-Bettencourt