Blockchain dna

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WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Genomic Blockchain Startup EncrypGen Makes History with World's First DNA Data Marketplace

Luna DNA gets seed money to fund blockchain initiative


Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Genomics data introduce a substantial computational burden as well as data privacy and ownership issues.

Data sets generated by high-throughput sequencing platforms require immense amounts of computational resources to align to reference genomes and to call and annotate genomic variants.

This problem is even more pronounced if reanalysis is needed for new versions of reference genomes, which may impose high loads to existing computational infrastructures. Additionally, after the compute-intensive analyses are completed, the results are either kept in centralized repositories with access control, or distributed among stakeholders using standard file transfer protocols. This imposes two main problems: 1 Centralized servers become gatekeepers of the data, essentially acting as an unnecessary mediator between the actual data owners and data users; and 2 servers may create single points of failure both in terms of service availability and data privacy.

Therefore, there is a need for secure and decentralized platforms for data distribution with user-level data governance. A new technology, blockchain, may help ameliorate some of these problems. In broad terms, the blockchain technology enables decentralized, immutable, incorruptible public ledgers. In this Perspective, we aim to introduce current developments toward using blockchain to address several problems in omics, and to provide an outlook of possible future implications of the blockchain technology to life sciences.

There are many big data application domains, from astrophysics to targeted marketing and advertising, quantum physics, and the topic of this Perspective: life sciences, especially genomics Stephens et al.

Within the realm of big data, computational problems manifest themselves in data acquisition, storage, distribution, and analysis.

Bioinformatics challenges associated with genomics, or any other omics field, include compute-intensive data analysis and privacy-aware data storage and sharing. In today's genomics research, analysis of high-throughput sequencing HTS data is common practice, which involves several computationally demanding steps such as read mapping and variation calling. Other applications of biological data analysis, such as calculating tertiary structures of RNA and protein molecules, are also computationally infeasible; therefore, they require immense amounts of computation i.

Contemporary genomics research deals with two problems regarding data storage and sharing. First, the privacy of the individuals who contribute biological material such as DNA should be preserved. Currently such control is possible through centralized data repositories; however, both granting and revoking access to data usually takes long processing times. In this Perspective, we focus on computation and privacy-aware data sharing problems in genomics, and potential use of the blockchain technology in addressing some of the computational problems.

We note that this paper aims to review only the applications of blockchain in genomics, and not the technology itself.

We refer the interested reader to several other reviews on blockchain technology Tapscott and Tapscott ; Witte ; Miraz and Ali High-throughput DNA sequencing HTS technologies evolved very quickly in the last decade, and now they are among the most powerful tools available for biological research Metzker We are now able to read the entire genome of a human individual in a few days for a fraction of the costs incurred by previous technologies Metzker ; Goodwin et al.

However, the volume of data generated by these platforms is enormous, leading to a picture in which computational analyses represent the major bottleneck Flicek ; Sboner et al. Considering that there are many genome centers that either already have purchased or will purchase this system, the amount of data generated each year will increase from hundreds of petabytes to exabytes. In light of this big data revolution in genomics, modern solutions lean toward utilizing professional infrastructures that can take such loads.

Cloud services are very powerful in terms of both scalability and usability from a researcher's perspective. However, cloud architectures gather all resources into one data center and therefore create a potential single point of failure. Possible failures include not only infrastructure outage, but also data leaks and accesses to raw data by malicious parties. Although trade-off between privacy and fast analysis usually favored the latter until recently, increasing privacy concerns among individuals started to shift the tide Wang et al.

On the other hand, the alternative decentralized methods lacked a scheme to reach a consensus between peers on data ownership and access control. While other problems such as network bandwidth and privacy remain unsolved, blockchain offers a simple solution to consensus issues. Lately, blockchain-based approaches in genomics often utilize blockchain as a decentralized database medium. However, like many new technologies, there is a growing hype around blockchain.

Therefore, it is important to realize that blockchain is only a tool with limitations that may help solve some problems. Nonetheless, overexpectations and concerns should not devalue the potential of this new technology that might be of importance in decentralized scientific computation. Blockchain, in a broad sense, is a distributed and immutable database, shared and automatically synchronized among all participants Tapscott and Tapscott This distributed database technology was first developed to be used as a public ledger in the popular decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Nakamoto Although Bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies were introduced as decentralized alternatives to coinage and monetary systems that virtually remained unchanged since the time of the ancient Lydians, they are in fact mere applications of the underlying blockchain technology.

The most important aspects of blockchain technology are: 1 decentralization i. Decentralization is the essential contribution of blockchain to modern consensus agreements like legislation, financial agreements, or joint resolution. Most current approaches require a third party, a governor, to reach and force an agreement between members. This central authority should be trusted by all participants to fulfill arrangement conditions. However, additional measures are required to keep the authority in check in regard to potential abuse of power.

These measures are likely to only increase in numbers and introduce many more actors that would clutter the system. Blockchain mitigates this trust to an algorithmic process. Every member can inspect the actions of others in a timely and organized fashion, which facilitates reaching a consensus at any given time. We provide the details of how blockchain achieves this in Box 1 for the interested reader. Basic cryptography. Before explaining how blockchain handles immutability and security, we need to introduce the basics of modern cryptographic methods.

The most known cryptographic method that uses the same key for both encryption and decryption is called symmetric key encryption. However, this method needs a secure communication channel to transfer the key in the first place. The sender encrypts the message by using the intended recipient's public key, which is accessible by everyone. The recipient then uses their corresponding private key to decrypt the message. This cryptographic model is highly utilized in security protocols due to its solid mathematical background.

The most important use cases of PKC are digital signatures. One can prove the authenticity of a piece of data by generating a signature using their private key and then the signature could be verified by public key. This means that it is impossible to find data that corresponds to a desired hash value due to its highly probabilistic and volatile nature.

On the contrary, it is effortless to generate the hash of a given piece of data. Homomorphic encryption. Most blockchain approaches for sensitive data aim for access control and protecting the integrity of data e. For sensitive data types, privacy of the shared data becomes important. One way to protect the privacy of data is encryption. However, traditional encryption techniques require users to decrypt the data in order to operate on it which is not desirable due to privacy concerns.

Homomorphic encryption enables computing on encrypted data without having to decrypt it. Fully homomorphic encryption FHE Gentry allows conducting all operations on encrypted data; however, it is not practical for real-life implementation. Due to this practicality issue, variations of FHE, such as partially homomorphic encryption and somewhat homomorphic encryption, have emerged.

Such encryption techniques only allow limited types or a limited number of operations on encrypted data, but they are shown to be practical for real-life implementation. For instance, Ayday et al. Similarly, Yasuda et al. Building consensus through immutability. Although the members agree on the current resolution of events, someone might claim that they actually did not commit a previous action which is now part of the consensus, e.

Blockchain offers immutability to prevent such claims. Nonetheless, immutability is a double-edged sword in the sense that theft cannot be recovered.

If malicious users wish to remove an earlier record from the chain, they have to go back in time to the block that hosts the record and start mining new blocks from there and catch up with the network. Generating new blocks, also known as proof-of-work, is based upon finding a hash between a range Box 2. As we described above, finding the required hash is completely random and demands random trials. Security of the individual accounts is guaranteed by PKC. User identities are defined by wallets which are pairs of public and private keys.

From the public key, an address that also provides some level of anonymity is generated to receive payments. Whenever someone wants to transfer funds, they prepare a receipt and sign it with their private key, which can be verified by anyone who has the public key. This handles the authenticity of transactions. Although it was developed as an integral part to Bitcoin, the blockchain technology itself is loosely coupled to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as described above, making it possible to be used in other cases.

We provide more details and definitions of blockchain-related terms in Box 2 , and we also introduce a simple analogy to further explain how blockchain functions in Box 3. To ensure that blockchain is very difficult to be manipulated, a sufficient amount of work is expected to be performed to create a new block. The basic requirement of this task is to be difficult to compute but easy to verify.

Although it is time- and resource-consuming, block generation is vital for blockchain to be functional. Therefore, any person who puts resources into this task gets rewarded as incentive.

This process is similar to mining precious metals, in which finding the material is based partially on luck, when found it is trivial to understand if the material is non-fake, and more manpower makes it easier to dig large areas. A proof-of-work is a piece of data that is difficult costly, time-consuming to produce but easy for others to verify and which satisfies certain requirements.

Producing a proof-of-work can be a random process with low probability so that much trial and error is required on average before a valid proof-of-work is generated. A proof-of-stake is a consensus algorithm like proof-of-work that decides on who mines the next block.

The major difference is that proof-of-stake does not require vast computational power. Thus, it eliminates the need for large electricity consumption. The higher the stake someone puts in as deposit, the higher they earn from transaction fees. Instead of proving a capability in terms of computation, proof-of-space utilizes memory-bound functions. This eliminates large electricity consumption of CPU-bounded functions while increasing the demand for larger space.

There is also another approach in which users send files to each other and show a proof that the file is stored on the other end.



Blockchain in Genomics

A publicly traded biotech giant based in South Korea is turning to blockchain to allow it to share genetic data without risk of hacking or infringement of patients' privacy. Macrogen, a DNA sequencing service provider with headquarters in Seoul, said in a press release on Monday that it is working with Big Data firm Bigster to develop a blockchain network for the distribution of genomic information, which is slated for completion by June In the medical field, according to the release, genomic data is used for customized patient diagnosis and treatment, while the pharmaceutical industry can use it for the development of new drugs and therapeutic agents. Yet, despite the high utilization value of DNA data within healthcare, it is not widely shared due to the sensitive nature of the information to patients and the risk of privacy breaches. To that end, the firms plan a system based on a consortium blockchain model that will only allow invited parties — such as pharmaceutical firms, research institutes, hospitals and genetic analysis startups — to run as nodes on the decentralized network, limiting who can access the data.

BAQALC: Blockchain applied lossless efficient transmission of DNA sequencing data for next generation medical informatics. Seo Joon Lee, Gyoun Yon Cho.

Influence difference main path analysis: Evidence from DNA and blockchain domain citation networks

Metrics details. Genome privacy is a twenty-first century challenge that has received relatively low publicity relative to risk, especially when compared to privacy issues surrounding social media or electronic health records [ 1 , 2 , 3 ]. The research community will benefit in the long run from characterizing privacy risks derived from genome data sharing, as well as developing and applying responsible, cost-effective solutions to mitigate these risks. The scientific community must be the first to recognize that, if biometrics such as fingerprints, iris or retinal images, and portraits are considered identifying information and thus redacted from publicly shared datasets, so should be genomes, exomes, and many other downstream data such as transcriptomes, proteomes, etc. It is important to understand that once genomes and related information are made accessible and thus linkable to other data, it is impossible to control what type of inferences can be obtained and what type of sensitive information can be inadvertently disclosed. On the other hand, it is possible to quantify risk and provide commensurate protections for data that are made available for research. Moreover, it is possible to engage the privacy technology community around the theme of responsible genomic data sharing. A growing community of genome privacy researchers has emerged in the past decade.


Blockchain 2035 The Digital DNA of Internet 3.0

blockchain dna

The deal will allow people in IndyGeneUS AI's ambitious sequencing and analysis program to receive compensation for the use of their genetic information. Data privacy firm Oasis Labs will offer a consumer-controlled data management app to customers of the DNA testing company, which was cofounded by George Church. Under the deal, Shivom will offer Family Care Path's MyLegacy web-based clinical decision support application through its online app marketplace. After giving up on the cryptocurrency idea, LunaDNA looks to "invert the research equation" by letting patients control and sell their genomic and health information.

CEO James A.

Genesy: a Blockchain-based Platform for DNA Sequencing

Gonzalez, a genomics scientist. Why blockchain? What's the value to genomics? How did you get interested in the technology? Where is the technology going? David responds: I think that it is an exciting evolution of database technology that solves some problems relating to data integrity and ability to audit, and the encryption involved can help with data privacy and security.


Blockchain 2035: The Digital Dna Of Internet 3.0

Skip to Main Content. A not-for-profit organization, IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Use of this web site signifies your agreement to the terms and conditions. Immutable DNA Sequence Data Transmission for Next Generation Bioinformatics Using Blockchain Technology Abstract: In recent years, there is fast growth in the high throughput DNA sequencing technology, and also there is a reduction in the cost of genome-sequencing, that has led to a advances in the genetic industries. However, the reduction in cost and time required for DNA sequencing there is still an issue of managing such large amount of data.

A Dutch firm is harnessing blockchain and DNA to disable what it has identified as a burgeoning illicit trade in sturgeon passed off as.

Blockchain 2035: The Digital DNA of Internet 3.0

What does blockchain and molecular tagging have to do with cannabis? In this episode our guest John Shearman shares a new technology that can track the influx of new cannabis strains. These new strains are highly variable with potentially significant chemical changes between batches and lots.


Company will use cryptocurrency to incentivize individuals to contribute genetic info, says Bob Kain. Blockchain Genome sequencing Medical research Luna DNA gets seed money to fund blockchain initiative Company will use cryptocurrency to incentivize individuals to contribute genetic info, says Bob Kain. Dec 28 17 2 min read. The company hopes to encourage individuals to share the results of genomic testing that is being conducted more widely in recent years; information in these genetic test results could be of great value to pharmaceutical and other medical research companies. Individuals are increasingly choosing to have DNA testing for insights into their health, ancestry and other traits.

Skip to Main Content. A not-for-profit organization, IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

HashCash's blockchain-powered prototype presents an effective solution for establishing privacy by safeguarding the sharing of genetic data during DNA sequencing. Genomic technologies have made significant progress over the past few years. The reduction in expenses with better access to this growing technology has contributed to an improvement in healthcare efficiency as well as social well-being. Recent developments resulted in the creation of ideal conditions for medical research facilitating disease identification and the effective development of medications. Besides, blockchain incorporation is key to the foundation of a secure ecosystem, enabling the process of sharing confidential genomic data without privacy concerns.

We asked both of them a few questions in advance of the panel discussion to get a better understanding of their companies. Q: How does an artist get their work on the Intaglio Blockchain? Can anyone do it?


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