Nebula Genomics wants to give you credits in exchange for sharing your genome DNA with third-parties

Science / Tech

Genome science and genome services are catching on with more and more people.

Genome services like Helix, deCODE Genetics and 23andMe will all take your DNA and return results to you for a fee. These services can get costly and the price is often too much for many users. But what if you could get your genome data for free by agreeing to share your DNA data with third-parties? That’s exactly what Nebula Genomics is doing with their blockchain-secured service.

Nebula Genomics was co-founded by George Church. Church is a Harvard geneticist and is keen on getting this service into the hands of everyone. Nebula Genomics would basically do the same thing every other service does but charge you no monetary fee. Instead, you would agree to allowing third-party company’s access to your DNA information. You would also earn “Nebula credits” that would allow you to pay for other services and materials offered by Nebula.

To be clear, you cannot convert credits into cash so you won’t be getting paid in credits that are usable anywhere else but Nebula. Nebula Genomics competition also has an opt in for sharing DNA data with third-parties but they offer no credit compensation and you still have to pay for the report.

Nebula Genomics, which launches today, is intended to connect consumers interested in exploring their genetics with researchers looking for large DNA datasets to assist with drug development. Co-founder George Church is a well-known pioneering geneticist at Harvard University, whose other ambitions include bringing back the woolly mammoth, editing our genes to fix diseases, and reversing ageing.

The service offers to sequence your entire genome for free and secure it using a blockchain. You can then share your genomic data anonymously with companies or research institutes of your choosing, in return for “Nebula credits”.

The third-parties that access this type of genome information are generally drug companies and health research companies. The information could prove useful in creating medication for certain afflictions and medical conditions. But it also opens a door for privacy concerns and how those companies will use the data they collect.

What do you think of selling your genome DNA data for credits and a free genome report? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: New Scientist
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