Koepsell, Ph.D., and his company Encrypgen, LLC, have designed a blockchain solution to the problem of a lack of privacy over the genomic data being generated.
The human race has come a long way from sharp stones and bond-fires. We have become ontological engineers, fantastically conceiving of and working with the fundamental blocks of life and matter. We are on the verge of synthetized life, personalized medicine, cell transformation, and a host of other barely believable feats. We are so incredibly advanced, so capable of creating a future tailored to our every whim. Truly, the current state of science is producing unassailably mind-bending opportunities for the next generations. However, the inability of researchers to exert control over their genomic data through patents presents a tremendous barrier to the development of research and the use of such in fields that would benefit hugely. David Koepsell, J.D., Ph.D., has proposed the use of blockchain technology as a solution to current stifled situation.
Koepsell, and his company Encrypgen, LLC, have designed a blockchain solution to the problem of a lack of privacy over the genomic data being generated. The solution allows for an unhackable and encrypted standard of privacy over the data. However, the solution vitally still grants scientists access to anonymized genomic data for medical research. The potential for a multitude of fields, people and industries, to benefit from this is outstanding.
The company, and the proposed solution, address the current barriers that exist – one of which being that no clear owner of genomic data can be asserted. Previous research has been denied patents by the U.S and Australian Supreme Courts on the grounds of improper application of the patents to natural occurrences rather than inventions.
The gravity of this issue is immense. The development of the field and its consequent findings, innovations and applications are ineffably stunted by the current scenario. The development of the human race as a whole stands to remain on the path of progress with the innovation of a solution, or alternatively, shall fall victim to the rising challenges of the present day.
The beauty of the solution proposed by Koepsell and collaborator, Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez, is that it is able to perform its function independent of any policy ruling over the field. This is indeed powerful as any solution that is tied to policy of the time is hindered by the limits of such and the slow pace of change of such.
Koepsell holds that blockchain technology integrates the values of ownership, privacy and security. The derivate effects of these conditions positively impact various parties at various levels. It means that an individual could safely store their life-affirming genomic data on the Gene-Chain, where they could access it themselves, and provide access to doctors, researchers or significant parties at their will. The medical benefits of such a state of affairs are astonishing. Just think – gene-tailored medical support, pharmaceuticals, surgeries, differential diagnoses etc. A new era of healthcare.
The structure of the blockchain could safely provide scientists access to anonymous metadata about entire populations and the various substrings of ethnicity, age, gender, culture etc. This will allow the development of research to not only continue, but to thrive. An increase in the availability of tangible data through which the current innovations in genomics have occurred allows for the rapid, if not exponential increase in innovations to come.
This eloquent, policy-independent solution gives impetus to the fields of study and exploration that will largely impact the future of the human race. The viability of space exploration, genomic programming, and the preservation of populations and biodiversity all balance on the successful continuing research of this field. Watch this space.