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Harvard Geneticist Launches DNA-Fueled Blockchain Startup

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Nebula Genomics might have its private coin and cross nose to nose with Ancestry.com and Google-backed 23andMe. George Church, a professor at Harvard and MIT, is taking a particular tack than his genetics attempting out opponents. He’s developed a token-fueled machine on the blockchain that monetizes DNA to incentivize contributors to participate in genome sequencing. It helps to maintain personal DNA data inside the fingers of the particular person — no longer big pharma — permitting them to choose within the occasion that they should proportion and monetize that data for evaluation features.

Nebula is constructed on Blockstack and is pushed through Ethereum good contracts on the blockchain. The Nebula ecosystem is fueled through the Nebula token, which is the foreign exchange by way of which people pay for his or her personal genome sequencing and related data. Meanwhile, data patrons use the tokens, which they are able to purchase with fiat foreign exchange, to obtain get right of entry to to DNA data.

Based on Professor Church’s evaluation, no completely different human genomics company even comes almost about handing over on what Nebula Genomics can do –

Nebula White Paper

Solving a Biological Problem

There are an a variety of benefits to the genome sequencing process, no longer the least of which involves family planning. Whole genome sequencing can expose the hazards of passing on a genetic dysfunction to a child. Meanwhile, DNA evaluation moreover offers folks the prospect to “take preventative action” to cease a sickness, akin to liver failure or most cancers, from worsening.

Professor Church is taking a look to resolve a problem in science surrounding “small data quantities, data fragmentation, a lack of standardization and slow data acquisition,” as in keeping with his site. He’s touting choices such as a result of the decentralized nature of the blockchain, which together with slashing costs and bolstering privateness we might contributors private their very personal DNA data with none third occasions.

Till now, the style of these firms has been to separate possession of the genomics data from the particular person, giving everyone nevertheless the particular person  — principally DNA attempting out firms and the pharmaceutical — a method to monetize the data.

For instance, the particular person purchases a DNA tools from a retailer akin to venture-backed 23andMe and 85% of the time consents to proportion their personal genomics data for evaluation features. Individuals don’t appear to be handiest sharing their personal data however as well as giving up possession rights to the company, on this occasion 23andMe, who then can profit from it by means of pharmaceutical industry-driven evaluation.

DNA attempting out, alternatively, has come a long way, from billions of bucks for human genome sequencing at in regards to the flip of the century to lots these days. Nebula offers genome sequencing for $1,000 and exome sequencing for $300, worth points which may be anticipated to drop as “DNA sequencing becomes cheaper,” as in keeping with the company.

According to Nebula, personal genome sequencing has the flexibility to facilitate “better diagnosis, disease prevention and personalized therapies.” When used for evaluation, the DNA data permits a additional detailed classification machine and new medication, “creating a genomics data market worth billions,” as in keeping with the white paper.

Professor Chruch points to open protocol that gives scientists the facility to “aggregate standardized data” all through folks and databases. It’s unclear whether or not or not he plans on launching an upcoming ICO.

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