Cryptocurrency in exchange for your genetic data! Sounds a bit like a scam, but it’s the premise behind a new company founded by a leading geneticist.
Nebula Genomics says it will sequence your genome, give you insights about it, secure it using a blockchain, and allow you to do whatever you want with the data. Nebula is the brainchild of Harvard geneticist George Church and Mirza Cifric, founder and CEO of Veritas Genetics, which offers a genome-sequencing service for $999.
When you pay to take a DNA test—through 23andMe, Helix, or Ancestry.com, for example—the company that does the testing owns your genetic data. Nebula wants to sequence people’s entire genomes and let them own it, allowing them to earn digital money by sharing it.
In a white paper released today, Church and his colleagues reason that pharma and biotech companies need large genomic data sets to develop new drugs. Companies typically buy this data from academic institutions or genetic testing companies like 23andMe, often for millions of dollars. Nebula says it aims to eliminate the middleman so that people can sell their genomic data straight to drug companies and other data buyers.
“The pitch to the average person is that you’re not just monetizing your genetic data,” cofounder Kamal Obbad says. “We’re also going to provide you with insights, similar to what 23andMe and Ancestry.com do.” For example, Nebula will tell be able to tell you about your disease risks. Read more from technologyreview.com…
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