Nebula Genomics is launching its free genome-sequencing service, the Boston Globe reports, noting that it's only free if customers share certain health information
Harvard Medical School's George Church founded the startup, which is combining genome sequencing with blockchain technology and crytocurrency. As Stat News reports, customers who answer questions about their health and other traits earn credits toward free sequencing: if they provide enough information, they earn enough to get their genomes sequenced to 30X coverage. Others may opt to pay $99 to get their genomes sequenced to lower, 0.4X coverage. Blockchain technology, Xconomy adds, will help keep data private.
Users, it notes, will own their data and have control over who has access to it. NPR adds that Nebula is hopeful that companies and academic researchers will pay for access to the data users have provided, which would cover their sequencing costs and perhaps if users have a highly desired trait, even earn them money.
"The idea here is that we reward users for sharing health data," Nebula CEO and co-founder Kamal Obbad tells Xconomy.
Stat News adds that Nebula will provide customers their raw data, an ancestry analysis, and their polygenic risk scores for certain traits.