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Three Buzzwords

A new startup company from Harvard Medical School's George Church plans to combine genome sequencing with blockchain and cryptocurrency, Stat News reports.

"We will spur genomic data growth by significantly reducing the costs of personal genome sequencing, enhancing genomic data protection, enabling buyers to efficiently acquire genomic data, and addressing the challenges of genomic big data," the company, called Nebula Genomics, says in a white paper.

Nebula Genomics will sequence customers' genomes for about $1,000, and the company will then securely store that data, CNBC says. At the same time, Stat News notes that customers will fill out surveys regarding their medical conditions. Customers, who will continue to own their data, can then decide whether or not to anonymously sell their genomic and phenotypic data through Nebula's blockchain-based peer-to-peer network to companies and academics, CNBC adds.

That market is to be fueled by Nebula's own cryptocurrency. According to Stat News, if a customer has a medical condition that is of interest to a drug company, that person could sell his or her data to the company for Nebula tokens. That way, it says, people would profit from the selling of their own data.

However, Stat News also says it's not clear that people and companies would be interested in this or how Nebula tokens will relate to hard currency.

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