According to research published in the Genome Biology journal just yesterday, leading genetic researchers and professors have pioneered a new way of securing and enabling ownership of genomic data in the digital age; putting it on the Blockchain through SAMchain technology.
Owning your own blueprint: SAMchain Technology
Mark Gerstein, the Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Albert L. Williams, whose remit also covers molecular biophysics, biochemistry, computer science, statistics and data science , stated that the intention behind the initiative was to spearhead the next generation of genetic data ownership.
“Our primary goal is to give ownership of genomic data back to the individual. As genomic data becomes increasingly integral to our understanding of human health and disease, its integrity and security must be a priority when providing solutions to storage and analysis.”
While this honorable goal may seem quite abstract to the layman, the truth is that data ownership is becoming an ever more vital aspect of identity and individual sovereignty as society becomes more data-based. Millions of people have already yielded ownership of their genetic data to private companies under the pretense of ancestry discovery or medical risk inquiry.
Beyond ownership: Protecting data integrity
SAMchain, as the technology has been dubbed, encodes individual genomic information and transfers its ownership to the individual. Beyond its role in data ownership, the non-editable of information stored on the Blockchain also has a vital benefit in ensuring that the data remains uncorrupted.
“Corruption, change, or loss of personal genomes could create problems in patient care and research integrity in the future.”
This innovation also helps pave the path towards genuinely personalized medicine. By allowing patients to directly provide their doctors with a store of their genetic data, medical professionals may have a better hand in developing bespoke treatments. This could also lead to a monetization of data with pharmaceutical companies paying to gain access to genetic information.
The Yale team was also led by Gamze Gürsoy, a Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center, and Charlotte Brannon, a PhD student at Stanford University studying cell, molecular, and organismal biology.
Information sourced from YaleNews.
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