Startup wants to sequence your genome and let you own the data so you can sell it

genome
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new startup called Nebula Genomics has released a white paper on its website offering people a way to cash in on their own genomes. Customers would pay to have their genome sequenced, (under $1000) but in return, would receive ownership of the data generated from it, which could then be sold by the customer to companies such as pharmaceutical manufacturers. Furthermore, transactions would occur using blockchain technology used for secure valued transactions such as Bitcoin.

Interestingly, the new startup is headed by George Church of Human Genome Project fame. He, along with employees from another of his companies, Veritas Genetics, and other investors, are suggesting that the approach is the wave of the future. They point out that other companies, notably 23andMe, retain ownership of user derived from spit swab genetic samples, leaving customers out of the proceeds when they sell the data to other companies.

Unfortunately, the number of people taking part in personal genome sequencing is low, the group claims, because of price and privacy issues. In order to best make use of genomic data, researchers need samples from a lot of people. That would reveal trends that are helpful in identifying currently unknown hereditary disease factors. The only way to get many more people involved, the group suggests, is by guaranteeing that their data will only go where they decide and by bringing the cost down—which they claim can only happen by allowing those who give samples to sell their data to companies working on large research efforts. Nebula Genomics, they claim, is in a position to make that happen.

Notably, buyers and sellers would use Nebula tokens as money. Those wishing to have their genome sequenced, for example, would buy a token, which they in turn could sell to another buyer, thereby recovering their initial expenditure. But, as with Bitcoin, the value of tokens can change depending on a variety of factors. And since the tokens can only be redeemed by purchasing someone's DNA data, their value will depend on the willingness of big companies to use them to pay for data.


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More information: www.nebulagenomics.io/

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Feb 09, 2018
Too bad when personalized bioweapons are created

Feb 09, 2018
$1000 price tag is not that great. This company
https://www.fullgenomes.com/
sells it currently at $1200 (30x - which is considered medical grade).
Plus, the prices are constantly falling and I bet you if you are willing to wait another year the price will be a few hundred dollars less.
Also, if you want anonymous service, just ask your friend to pay with their card and give him/her cash back - although this may break some rules, I am not sure.

Feb 10, 2018
Finally.

Feb 10, 2018
Who do you trust? And, why do you trust them?

Considering the vast industry of computer hackers? What kind of guarantees can safeguard your medical information?

When (NOT IF!) wrongdoing is alleged? What legal recourse will you have? And for that matter. how will your biological data be restored solely to your control?

I suspect, that once that genie is out of the bottle? You will never get your personal genome back.

Feb 10, 2018
@rrwillsj
In a dozen of years the DNA mapping will be so cheap and so quick that you're going to see the sci-fi scenario when somebody can pick up somebody's else dna from the cells they shed. Therefore, I don't think you can guard successfully against spread of your dna information to the third parties.

So you are worrying probably about the personal dna security only for the next few years. After that the security game will be really over and the genie's bottle is uncorked not on the internet but in the physical world where people can hack your dna data.

Feb 11, 2018
Who do you trust? And, why do you trust them?

Considering the vast industry of computer hackers? What kind of guarantees can safeguard your medical information?

When (NOT IF!) wrongdoing is alleged? What legal recourse will you have? And for that matter. how will your biological data be restored solely to your control?

I suspect, that once that genie is out of the bottle? You will never get your personal genome back.


https://www.coind...-for-id/

Is an interesting start!

Feb 11, 2018
What if hackers steal your DNA and replace you with an clone?
They will have access to your EVERYTHING, even your spouse.
Better guard your DNA, trust nobody.
I warned you.
;-)

Feb 11, 2018
Okay Djorf, I trust you enough to not trust your warning.

Wait!? Isn't there some ancient paradox about Creteans. Warning you that they are liars? And therefore, you can trust them to be telling you the truth?

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