The REPAIR (Researching the Effects of the Presence and Absence of Ionizing Radiation) project, run by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Laurentian University, is currently examining the biological effects of prolonged growth and development in SNOLAB.
It is hypothesized that organisms have adapted to oxidative stress produced by natural background radiation, which promotes and maintains DNA stability, and that removal of background radiation will be detrimental to living systems. Several different model systems are being utilized to test this hypothesis. Human cell cultures grown in SNOLAB will be examined for cancer risk, oxidative stress, and genomic damage such as DNA double strand breaks. Lake whitefish embryos raised in SNOLAB will be examined for whole-organism survival, growth and development.