We are currently past the prototype version of the app. We have already released a demo app, and are planning to launch it on the Octopus Network by November 2021.
Can my lab or university participate?
If you are affiliated with commercial OR academic genetics or medical laboratory, please click here to send an inquiry, we will answer within 24 hours.
Can the labs perform their analysis without the user's personal data, such as age, gender, marital status, etc?
In many cases, bioinformatics labs can analyze anonymous data and provide clear insights without phenotypical context. Please see the 1000 Genome Project and the Personal Genome Project, both of which provide an anonymous database of genomes that can be accessed by researchers. Each genome here can still yield useful insights.
In cases where the genomes are utilized for purposes that require the comparison between your genotype & phenotype, our platform shall allow users to disclose specific data that are not directly personally identifiable -- gender, race, etc.
If things are happening anonymously, how does the user/customer pay for the service?
There are two options, the traditional option or the fully decentralized option. We prefer fully decentralized, but this might not be an option in all locales. Traditional payment models may also work better for a consortium of private deployments of Degenics.
The traditional option: A local payment gateway or bank holds consumer funds in escrow until the lab provides valid data (report and genome) into decentralized storage. The smart contract then triggers fund disbursement into the lab's accounts. Note that this still maintains the anonymity of the genomic data, since:
Payment gateway/bank does have access to consumer KYC but does not have access to genomic data or reports
Labs don't have access to consumer KYC, although it does have access to anonymized genomic data
All transactions happen via a Blockchain token model. Consumer onboards with their preferred cryptocurrency token, or go through a fiat-to-crypto bridge (example here) to pay. Smart contracts hold consumers' tokens in escrow until labs provide valid data. The smart contract then triggers fund disbursement into the labs' account.
Do DeBio users, as patients, have to send samples to several labs?
For the public blockchain concept of DeBio, consumers will be provided an option to just have the network choose 1 lab. For the private/consortium blockchain concept of DeBio, the default option is single-lab, since consumers will choose a lab from the "Lab Marketplace". Sending samples to several labs remains a viable option to directly access a supplementary opinion, or compare results for added confidence.
Since there is no login needed, what will happen if the user switches devices? Will the dApp generate a whole new key?
The private key from the original device can be backed up as a passphrase. This passphrase can be kept safe since it can be used to access the user's data! Best practices for this passphrase include writing it down on a piece of paper and physically hiding it away from view in a safe place.
If the user accesses the dApp from another device, the passphrase from the first device can be entered into the dApp to restore access to the user's genetic data and any prior reports.
Can the key be used to take several samples/tests? Or is it one key per one test only?
There is a single private key (encoded as a passphrase) that originates the derivation of all other keys that are used by the user. For every test using the same individual's genetic material, a different public key is used.
The reason for this: To avoid "traffic analysis" which is a method of information gathering by observing the movement and reuse of public keys.
Is it possible to send something via postal service without providing any sender information?
In many countries, there is no need for any return address except in specific situations that shouldn't apply here. In countries that require a return address, we have two alternatives:
In the trustless/decentralized model, the platform can use another lab's address as the return address -- so that in the event of the sample being undeliverable, the sample would still end up in a lab on the network.
In the consortium/enterprise model, we can set up a PO Box to handle any undelivered mail, and embed it on every envelope as the return address.
Personal genome files are huge. How would you expect to send these files via Blockchain?
Genome files are indeed quite large. Raw PCR output can be up to 900GB, and even VCF files hover around 10-100MB (for a subset of sequences) or 1GB (for Whole Genome Sequencing).
Here's our strategy in enabling these files to be shared and owned by the user:
First, we will focus on the VCF files exclusively. In our initial POC, only the smaller VCF files will be included in the "result package" sent to each user, along with the report.
Second, we will utilize a combination IPFS / torrent platform to act as the decentralized storage mechanism. The "result package" is encrypted off-chain (with the user's public key) and put within this decentralized storage platform.
Third, the main blockchain platform itself will link to the decentralized storage mechanism through a hash list. This means that the main blockchain platform only contains pointers to the data in decentralized storage and not the actual genomic files.
In the enterprise/consortium strategy, the IPFS/torrent platform can be replaced with regular public or private cloud solutions.
How do the entire process of a user submitting a sample to any of the sovereign labs without revealing the user's identity?
We allow users to send in biomedical samples without KYC, via DeBio. DeBio provides instructions for DIY sampling, usually a simple buccal swab -- swabbing the inside of your cheeks 10x. For genome sampling, it can be just a regular cotton swab, a sample bottle, and an envelope. There have been papers that show that using a regular swab instead of a "medical grade" kit that the other companies use yields the same amount of DNA DIY sampling is not very hard.
As you can see, it is the same quality to use regular swabs vs using medical-grade swabs, so no need for a kit, you can just buy cotton swabs yourself. This sample is sent within a sample bottle and an envelope with an anonymous specimen number -- like a Swiss bank account, there are no names here. Labs receive the sample, do wetwork and analysis, and send the genomic data and reports to encrypted IPFS storage that can only be decrypted by the user.
At this point, the user can just take that genome, knowing full well that no one has his or her KYC and it's not connected to the DNA in any way.
We give users the option to offset the expensive costs of the testing by allowing users to stake their data into a privacy-preserving data marketplace, which aggregates the data and sells it; users get our $DBIO tokens in return."
Will DeBio Labs be operating worldwide? How DeBio would deal with the distance barrier regarding submitting the sample issue since some samples are prone to spoilage which could affect the test results?
We are using a "hyperlocal" model, where only labs in your general geographical area can access you as a user if you are at the phase of sending physical samples. If you already had your genome sequenced, and you only want to retest the genome via DeBio, you can do so internationally.
Keeping this in mind, the initial "physical to digital bridge" of transforming samples into reports / genetic sequences are done in that hyperlocal manner.
Please note that in the production model users would be able to request labs. If you don't have any local labs around you, you can stake some number of tokens to request a certain service. (This feature will be available on the testnet soon).
Does DeBio have permits and regulations from institutions or governments to run Business and DNA Tests?
Our business license in Singapore is for RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTAL DEVELOPMENT ON BIOTECHNOLOGY, LIFE, AND MEDICAL SCIENCE (72101). The license can be seen here Our company registration can be seen as DAOGenics, Ltd., and can be searched in https://uen.gov.sg
As DeBio does not perform any kind of test, we are using the KILT token curated attesters to allow all labs (including smaller ones) to be part of our network.
Will the doctors on DeBio’s Lab be verified and certified by DeBio?
DeBio uses the Kilt token curated attester model. a Token Curated Attester is like a DAO but permission and based on skills, Doctors and clinics can thus certify others, based on their specialty.
What are DeBioNetwork's criteria for choosing a lab to work with? Because the requirements in the medical field are very strict?
Genetic Labs must have the ability to do human WGS, WES, and/or SNPs. Biomedical Labs must possess the ability to do biomedical tests (e.g. Covid-19 test, STD tests). DAOGenics curates & KILT attest to those labs before joining DeBio's ecosystem.
Besides genetic analysis and sequencing, what kind of biomedical products and services are you going to offer by collaborating with laboratories?
Over time, DeBio will integrate several kinds of other tests, as long as they are compatible with being sent through regular mail. There are of course possibilities for the integration of smart devices, even if this feature is still reserved for the future.
What is the main utilization of DeBio tokenomics?
The $DBIO token accumulates value from all OCEAN marketplace activities of our data tokens (initially $GENE, $MED, $EMR). It does so through a permissionless smart contract that swaps OCEAN for ETH and buys back $DBIO. This props up and increases the value of DBIO constantly through all marketplace activities.
There is only mainnet token, $DBIO, which is provided as data staking rewards, validator rewards, and LP rewards.
Additionally, we are using $GBIO tokens, which are based on Kilt's decentralized token curated attester model, to attest the labs. Our platform is anonymous to the users, but the labs need to be attested. (we will not tolerate fake labs in the ecosystem.). $GBIO is not an openly tradable token, and you can only get it if you are a lab, a hospital, or a subject matter expert within the biomedical field.