San Francisco-based DNA startup Nebula Genomics is now offering Free DNA sequencing at no cost to everyone who answer a series of questions about their own health, according to its website.
Started by geneticist George Church, who’s regarded as the father of the Human Genome project, Nebula Genomics leverages blockchain technology to eliminate middlemen and empower people to own their personal genomic data and thus democratise genome sequencing.
— Nebula Genomics (@NebulaGenomics) November 16, 2018
Nebula, the DNA startup, which otherwise charges $99 for a complete genome sequencing for discovering ancestry, is now offering free genome sequencing to discover, explore your ancestry and learn about your inherited traits. However Nebula DNA sequencing is limited only to US customers as of now, although Nebula is planning to bring this free DNA service to other countries in future soon.
Genome is the entire DNA content that is present within one cell of an organism and this genome contains whole of its hereditary information encoded in its DNA.
For uninitiated, a genetic code or the result of ‘Gene Sequencing’ is an instruction manual that tells each of your cells how to operate — Essentially, an instruction manual in the same sense that your TV comes with a manual for how to operate, except it is very long (3 billion letters) and has a reduced alphabet (only four available letters/ ‘A’,’T’, ‘G’, ‘C’). ‘Genomics’ or Genome Sequencing is the science of understanding this instruction manual.
Notably, sequencing the first human genome cost about $1 billion and took 13 years to complete (in 2001); today it costs about $3,000 to $5000 and takes just one to two days.
For its free service, Nebula is taking 6-8 weeks to come up with DNA sequencing results, which can be downloaded either VCF or BAM.
In a recent Reddit AMA session, founder of Nebula, Church wrote, “There are certainly valid concerns with genomic data being used for irresponsible and unethical things, but there is also an immense opportunity to provide value to millions of people.”