This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced, but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so you’d have to pay companies such as 23andMe and Helix? No problem: A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.

To qualify for a free genome sequence, you’ll have to provide some information about your health, which is then shared with researchers, in addition to your DNA data. In exchange for this information — which is kept anonymous — they then cover the cost of the genome sequencing. The hope is to gather enough genetic data to develop new drugs and other treatments for solving a range of diseases. All data is stored on the blockchain, and users get to decide exactly what information is shared with companies or other research institutes. You can also pay $99 upfront without having to answer additional questions.

“We are using next-generation sequencing technology,” Dennis Grishin, the company’s chief science officer, told Digital Trends. “This enables us to generate thousands of times more data from a genome than most of our competitors. We also enable our users to fully control their genomic data and we inform them when a researcher requests access. Our users have the opportunity to get sequenced for free by getting matched with a researcher who wants to access their genomic data.”

So we’re talking better technology for generating genomic data, control over our genomic data, and the opportunity to get sequenced for free? If you’re in the market for a genome sequencing, that sounds like quite the deal.

Nebula Genomics was co-founded by Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Church is the geneticist behind the plan to bring back the woolly mammoth using modern-day technology.

“George’s lab has contributed to the development of next-generation sequencing technology that made personal genome sequencing affordable,” Grishin said. “We started Nebula Genomics to bring the costs of personal genome sequencing down to zero and to address the issues of genomic data ownership and privacy. Our mission is to achieve mass adoption of personal genome sequencing, which would lead to a genomic revolution that would transform biomedical research and health care.”

For more information on the service offered by Nebula Genomics, you can visit the company’s website.

Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Music

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Computing

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.