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Information wants to be free, says the old internet meme, and a genomics company will now apply that to DNA: Starting on Thursday, the startup Nebula Genomics is giving customers the option of having their full genome sequenced at no cost, a first for direct-to-consumer genetics.

There is, naturally, an itsy-bitsy little catch. Customers will have to answer a handful of questions about their health and other traits — from whether they have ever been diagnosed with cancer to their history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other common ills to what medications they take, how physically active they are, and whether they smoke — in order to earn credits toward free sequencing. Answering the questions will earn enough credits, or “tokens” as the company calls them, to score free DNA sequencing.

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  • “Genome sequencing is proving to be a hard sell, Church said. “We’re trying to figure out the business model to get people excited about” having their genome sequenced, he said at a precision medicine meeting in Boston on Tuesday. “Even at free, people don’t perceive the value.”
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    No problem, just turn your assay results over to Zuckerberg and Sandberg. Problem solved. Right? Oh, wait… 😉

    Seriously, this is something I might do, if I could be persuaded of assay QA (accuracy and precision).

    • “We’re trying to figure out the business model…”

      As Guy Kawasaki noted more than 25 years ago (“The Macintosh Way”), in DigiTech, the T-Shirt comes first.

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