Your DNA contains a lot of personal information. Simply speaking, genome is the code that runs in nucleus of almost every cell in your body. This extremely sensitive information has great potential for better healthcare and understanding of human nature. But, for sure, being careless about privacy is playing with fire when it comes to DNA.
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Here is the real-world example. Let’s suppose you have had a genetic testing for any reason last year. Today your insurance company refused to renew an insurance policy. The reason given to you was nonsense. Well, there is a great chance of so-called genetic discrimination. In fact, genetic data you so recklessly provided could give an evaluation of risk for the development of osteoporosis, chronic inflammation, cancer and of many other diseases. And that’s only the beginning of what could be revealed.
Take into account that genetic research on human behavior discovered the influence of genetic factors on personality traits such as conscientiousness, open-mindedness, intelligence. During the ongoing research into the genetics of human homosexuality, DNA markers were found, linked to a sub-type of homosexuality and indicating a statistical confidence level of more than 99 percent.
All of that could be discovered solely based on genetic information as well as predisposition towards obesity, violence, stealing, antisocial behavior, infidelity, gambling and substance abuse. Not to mention that your weight, height and other body parameters could be estimated. After all, the disclosure of estimated weight doesn’t seem like a big deal, right?
Genetic discrimination comes in many different ways, but only a few of them are officially considered illegal. Namely, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibited the use of genetic data in health insurance and employment. But GINA nevertheless doesn’t apply to life insurance or long-term care insurance. Just imagine how this data could ruin even a healthy relationships or make you less attractive in the eyes of others.
The need for privacy-oriented genomics has become especially urgent
As of now, the genetic data is collected by a number of companies in a purely centralized way and then sold to third party companies and research institutions.
Anonymity of DNA Donors is a “False Promise” —Craig Venter
For example, 23andMe forces their customers to consent to share genetic information in order to use a service. Sadly, promoting genetic privacy contradicts to corporate interests in maximizing profit.
Currently, the distribution of users private data is based on preexisting agreements with partners. In short, the genetic information market doesn’t as yet exist. The Zenome project proposes a solution that puts users in control of their genomic data.
The idea is to create blockchain-driven market of genetic information. Private genetic information becomes a valuable asset alongside anonymized genetic data freely available to ongoing scientific studies. Surely, the approach based on market interactions will eventually win the competition with corporations. It’s only matter of time.
“Blockchain may be a key in overcoming shortfalls in widely used health IT as the healthcare industry adapts to precision medicine”
— Ron Ribitzky
The platform can be easily scaled and adapted for different blockchains, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. It also features a performant P2P network of computing nodes to provide distributed environment for genetic data processing. You can set up a node making your computer working hard for the sake of science and your reward. It’s a great chance for gamers to benefit from having a high-end graphics card — GPU Computing is also supported and is really, really faster.
The platform’s economy is powered by an utility token symbolically called ZNA or “Zenome DNA”. A token can be used to pay for genetic testing and for all kinds of genetic services afterwards. Pre-Sale begins on October 5 and will last for 7 days. It’s a great opportunity to get tokens at the lowest price possible, so don’t miss out.
Tokens will be transferable so consider buying some as a gift for friends or relatives.