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Nebula is a genetic testing kit built on privacy that will pay you for your genetic data

Blockchain technology is used to secure data.

Dna testing
Image: ZME Science

Everyone has seen the commercials about DNA testing companies like 23andMe. After all, it can be fun finding out where your ancestors came from and helpful for figuring out how to improve your health. Plus, it helps that they are simple to use. Get a sample of your saliva and send it off to the company.

Nebula is another company working with similar technology and even using a similar saliva-obtaining technique. The company is offering customers a chance to see their entire genome sequence. However, they have several features that set it apart from others.

Along with receiving deeper insights into their health, Nebula lets users share their results with genetic researchers. And, to sweeten the deal for those interested, those who do end up sharing will be paid.

Another differentiator is the core technology behind Nebula, the oft-reported blockchain, that adds an extra layer of privacy for those who may feel initially uncomfortable to share. Which, all things considered, that’s a valid concern.

Nebula is $9.95, plus $7 a month for users who want to retain their genome sequence.

Nebula gives users more personal insights into their DNA

Dr. George Church, the Co-Founder of Nebula, spoke with Science Magazine about his venture and what led him to go in this current direction.

Everybody owns their data but they can get paid for it by people who want to use the data. Rather than a direct-to-consumer company selling it to whomever they want, you own it in every way. You can share it in a way that’s secure and you can control how much they get. That’s where the blockchain comes in.

Throughout his career, Church has always been involved with biotechnology and genome sequencing. Pardon the pun, but it is in his DNA. Church is a genomics professor at Harvard Medical School and is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, the Personal Genome Project, which collects genome data from volunteers to study. He founded Nebula in 2016 with two Harvard graduate students, Dennis Grishin and Kamal Obbad, who were also studying genetics.

Nebula dna wall art

Image: Nebula

DNA testing kits can make for good gifts, but even in that department, Nebula is setting themselves apart. For Black Friday this year, Nebula is launching the Human Art Project. For $99, a customized piece of art based on your DNA will be created. The purchase of an art piece comes with a year-long subscription to Nebula. The company has released a handful of examples, and they can range from colorful to muted. It will definitely be a conversation starter. That’s for sure.

What do you think? Is this DNA service from Nebula something you’re interested in? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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