Nebula Taps Blockchain Startup Oasis Labs To Secure Personal Genomic DataSeptember 22, 2020
Nebula Genomics, a privacy-focused personal genomics company, is integrating with blockchain startup Oasis Labs in order to grant its customers irrevocable ownership of their Whole Genome Sequencing data.
Founded in 2017, Nebula Genomics seeks to usher in the era of personal genomics by building a distributed platform that will accelerate genomic data generation, facilitate data access and streamline data analysis. Its platform uses blockchain and privacy-preserving technologies to enable individuals to maintain control of their personal genomic data, share it securely and get compensated equitably. By incentivizing personal genome sequencing and genomic data sharing, Nebula Genomics will make large genomic datasets available to researchers which will help advance understanding of human genetics, accelerate drug discovery and streamline clinical trials.
Oasis Labs is a privacy-first, high-performance cloud computing platform on blockchain. The company aims to bring privacy and security protections previously not possible on a blockchain, as well as processing capabilities that have orders of magnitude greater performance than existing systems. Oasis’s unique technical properties and capabilities enable a broad spectrum of new applications from DeFi to healthcare to consumer electronics and more.
The two companies will be working together to bring a new standard for responsible data use in the personal genomics industry and provide consumers with first-of-its-kind control of their genetic data. Nebula’s users will be able to monitor access to their data via an Oasis Labs app, which will maintain a log of every action taken with their data on the Oasis Network. Data remains confidential, and users can grant access to their data for specific use cases such as generation of reports offered by Nebula or analysis by researchers.
“Each time a user’s genome is analyzed — whether it is to provide reports to the user or for medical research — Oasis verifies user’s permission against an immutable ledger,” the release stated. “Then, with the user’s permission, the analytics function and encrypted genomic data is loaded into an isolated, blackbox computation environment called a Secure Enclave. Using a Secure Enclave to run analysis helps ensure that no one can peak at a user’s genetic information during the computation. Nebula users are able to receive reports and, in the future, share data access with researchers, while keeping their personal genomic data confidential and protected.”
Dawn Song, CEO and Founder of Oasis Labs, said that at present, it’s incredibly difficult for users to own and control their data in a private and secure way, which is why consumers need new solutions that provide the benefits of using data at scale without the risk that their data may be taken out of their control.
“That’s why we’re so excited to work with Nebula. We’re excited to further Nebula’s mission to enable customers to maintain the privacy, ownership, and control of their personal genomic data,” Song said. “Most people want to contribute to biomedical research, but at the same time are often deterred by privacy concerns. We expect our technology will enable something completely novel to consumers: enabling both privacy and controlled data use at the same time.”
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