Security Issues Genomic Data
Over the last few years, the scientific world saw an exponential growth in the type and volume of available genomic data. Genomic data refer to information with respect to an organism’s complete set of genes, or what we call genomic DNA. Technology kept up with the capture, processing, storage, and analysis of this critical information but solutions to the security and privacy of genomic databases lag far behind.
Encrypgen’s Gene-Chain revolutionizes the genomic industry
By their very nature, genome sequencing contains the most sensitive data about individuals. DNA contains information on ethnic background, the propensity to develop certain medical conditions, even life expectancy and personality traits — all of which a person may want to keep confidential and out of the hands of cyber criminals.
Gene-Chain stores genomic data from individual donors and researchers, which can then be used for metadata searched . This storage platform makes it easier to browse through the material and securely share scientific data. Universities and other research centers — and even corporations — buy the right to store data on Gene-Chain. Once licensed, these scientific research centers and corporations can request to see stored data other than their own. The Gene-Chain processes these data requests by ensuring the requests comply with privacy and consent laws which, in turn, makes scientific collaboration and ethics procedures easier. Gene-Chain donors can see a complete historical record of all “withdrawals” of the data they upload to the platform. In addition, donors can grant specific scientists and research projects access to their data by giving them special keys that provide secure access for a specific time period, after which they expire.
What is so special about Gene-Chain?
Based on blockchain technology, Encrypgen’s Gene-Chain provides a trackable and unhackable method that enables transactions involving genomic information over secure networks. People who deposit, use, or mine genomic data receive Gene-Chain coins, a valuable and exchangeable cryptocurrency. In practical terms, this means that donors can make money from those who mine their data.
Encrypgen is in the midst of its first sale of 80 million Gene-Chain coins which it expects to conclude sometime in July 2017. At of this date, the company sold 55% of the Gene-Chain offering. The company will distribute wallets at the end of the current sale. In August, 2017, the DNA tokens will list on crypto-exchanges.
Who is Encrypgen?
Co-founder David Koepsell, JD/PHD, brings his background in law, ethics, and software, to his position as Encrypgen CEO. He leads Encrypgen’s mission to develop systems that will improve the usefulness and privacy of genetic databases and will protect database donors.
The Co-founder of Encrypgen is Vanessa Gonzalez Covarrubis, PHD. She is the genomic science advisor for the team and brings more than a decade of genetic science experience to her role. She also writes extensively on genetic science for various publications. As genomic science advisor, Ms. Covarrubis researches pharmacogenomics which is the science behind the emerging field of personal medical genomics.
Partners and Members
Encrypgen is an organizational member of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health. The company also actively seeks to create partnerships with other entities who share its interest in the security, privacy, and collaboration of genomic data for scientific and health purposes.
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