Nebula Genomics to be the first startup company that offers genome sequencing for the individuals anonymously. Nebula Genomics is a genetics company that will develop a platform for people to get their personal genome to be sequenced. The people will also be to store and control that information through cryptographic encryption on the blockchain. The sequencing is done by using the samples of saliva.
To achieve this, Nebula has come up with a product that enables a transparent data sharing option. The platform is controllable and also offers other options to carry out anonymous payments using digital currencies. And for the customers who do not use the digital currencies, they can use a prepaid credit card to protect their privacy. The customers can access the results through an email address that is non-traceable. And the company, before sharing the genetic data they remove all the personal identifiers.
Nebula has also introduced other security measures such as it is encrypting both genomic data and splitting the decryption keys. Splitting of the keys is the crucial security measure in cryptography which means more than two people can decrypt the data. A part of the decryption key would be with the customer and the other with the scientists to pay for accessing the data for research.
The chief technology officer of the Nebula Genomics, Kevin Quinn was awakened shortly after the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in 2018. He said, “People started seeing services they use every day not working the way they were intended,” adding “And it’s had a strong whiplash in the genomics space.” Nebula has made alliances with EMD Serono, the North American biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA.
With this alliance, Nebula provides the EMD Serono with access to its network of anonymized genomic data to support the research and development of new medicines. The company’s co-founders Harvard University biologist George Church and Kamal Obbad have explained in their paper that published on Thursday.