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This start-up lets you cash in on your genetic data

Press Trust of India  |  Boston 

You may soon be able to make money by selling your own genetic data, thanks to a US-based start- up that is offering a service to sequence a customer's

Customers can have their sequenced for under USD 1,000, which could then be sold to scientists or

The transactions would occur using cryptocurrency technology used for secure valued transactions such as Bitcoin.

The company called Nebula is headed by George Church, who suggests that the approach is the wave of the future.

Most other sequencing companies retain ownership of user data derived from spit swab genetic samples, leaving customers out of the proceeds when they sell the data to other companies.

Due to price and privacy issues, the number of people taking part in personal genome sequencing is low, the start-up claims.

To best make use of genomic data, researchers need samples from more people, which would help reveal trends underlying currently unknown hereditary disease factors, 'TechXplore' reported.

The only way to get many more people involved is by guaranteeing that their data will only go where they decide and by bringing the cost down, the startup claims.

Customers would be is using a cryptocurrency sold by the start-up.

Those wishing to have their genome sequenced would buy a token, which they in turn could sell to another buyer, thereby recovering their initial expenditure.

The value of tokens can change depending on a variety of factors. The tokens can only be redeemed by purchasing someone's DNA data, their value will depend on the willingness of big companies to use them to pay for data.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 12:15 IST