“Everything is private information, stored on your computer or a computer you designate,” says George Church, genetics professor at Harvard Medical School, about the approach of Nebula Genomics.
The blockchain was invented in 2008 for the purpose of tracking the exchange of Bitcoins in a manner that cannot be hacked. So far, the blockchain has proven to be the most secure computer method available for tracking information about all sorts of things. Today, the blockchain is used to track financial transactions at major banks, for recording transfers of cryptocurrencies, for tracking the source of fish from the point of being caught to a sushi restaurant, and for the tracking of spare parts sold by large industrial manufacturers.
NOTE: For an explanation of what a blockchain is and how it works, look at Blockchain Explained at https://www.upfolio.com/ultimate-blockchain-guide.
A startup genetics company says it’s now offering to sequence your entire genome (not just the markers on interest to genealogists, but EVERYTHING) at no cost to you. Nebula Genomics, created by the prominent Harvard geneticist George Church and his lab colleagues, seeks to upend the usual way genomic information is owned. In fact, you would retain ownership of the 6 billion bits of your genetic source code instead of giving the information away to some company in the manner that most of today’s DNA databases operate. You might even be able to make money off it, although the amount of money earned probably will be modest. The information would be stored privately in a blockchain that cannot be hacked.
The new service grants access to an individual’s de-identified DNA on Nebula’s own computers. Buyers get to see the results, never the raw data itself.
The only person who can download DNA data from the platform is the person whose DNA it is.
The goal, says Nebula co-founder and chief scientific officer Dennis Grishin, is to create an environment where users can cheaply learn about their DNA and share it with scientists, while protecting themselves from potential privacy breaches.”
You can read the full article by Richard Harris in the NPR web site at: https://n.pr/2OO1ECn.
The Nebula Genomics web site may be found at: https://www.nebula.org/.