I still remember walking in the sequencing rooms of the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK. It was 8 years ago, and the rooms were packed with top-of-the-line Illumina DNA sequencers whose LEDs were blinking smoothly while decoding the code of life. Million dollars of equipment, in just a couple of rooms!
At that time, the holy grail was to sequence a full human genome for $1,000. Legend wants Craig Venter, the first man on earth who had its genome fully sequenced, to launch the idea. The price tag will open the doors to personalize genomics for the masses. In 2013, it was just a dream…But now, this is the reality Nebula Genomics offers to anybody and not to the select few.
What makes Nebula Genomics so unique?
To better understand this company, it is important to understand who is the man behind it. George Church founded Nebula Genomics, a legend in the world of genome sequencing and a serial entrepreneur. The company was founded in 2018 and is based in San Francisco. It aims at offering complete and secure DNA analysis at a price widely affordable.
Relying on a technology called Next Generation Sequencing, Nebula Genomics provides various types of DNA analyses (Basic, Deep, Ultra Deep) depending on the coverage and accuracy of the analysis. What makes the company so unique is the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) devices to analyze the complete genome while maintaining an aggressive price point.
What are the sequencing options offered by Nebula Genomics?
This option decodes the most important parts of the DNA and reveals ancestry information and the predisposition to common traits and disorders. Not all the DNA is analyzed but only its most common elements. It will not detect rare mutations but offers a reasonably priced first step into the world of DNA analysis. The results benefit from the blockchain-based privacy technologies that make this company so unique. Additionally, information is updated weekly with the latest genetic discoveries. This is a perfect starter for those interested in DNA analysis or genetic genealogy but not willing to invest too much. Check our full review of the Basic test and what we learned from it.
Basic by Nebula Genomics
- Important DNA parts decoded
- 0.4x Sequencing Depth
- Medium accuracy and basic ancestry report
- Good for a first step in the DNA world
Price when reviewed: $99
With Deep, the whole genome is analyzed at a 30x accuracy level. Each of the chemical bases that constitute the DNA is read 30 times using different sequences. Not only does it offer a premium accuracy, but it also allows to detection of rare mutations. For those interested in Ancestry DNA analysis and genetic genealogy, Deep provides an analysis of the Y-Chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA for tracking with maximum accuracy both the maternal and paternal lineages. We think that Deep is a great compromise between coverage, accuracy, and price.
Ultra-Deep by Nebula Genomics
- 100% DNA decoded
- 30x Sequencing Depth
- High Accuracy and Y-Chromosome / mitochondrial DNA analyses
- Good for detecting rare traits
Price when reviewed: $299
With Ultra-Deep, the accuracy reaches x100 for the whole genome. It provides the maximum accuracy, and a doctor can potentially use the results to detect rare mutation or genetic disorders. The results may be overwhelming to interpret, and we do not recommend starting your DNA journey with such a high-end test.
Ultra-Deep by Nebula Genomics
- 100% DNA decoded
- 100x Sequencing Depth
- Ultra-High Accuracy and Y-Chromosome / mitochondrial DNA analyses
- Good for detecting rare mutations
Price when reviewed: $999
How can the results be accessed?
The genetic data is uploaded and accessible privately. The use of blockchain technology ensures that the user is always in control of who can access the results and the level allowed. Nebula Genomics also updates the results regularly, meaning that users can benefit from the constant advancement of science and genetic researches.
The company offers a subscription model to benefit from constant updates on the results, which comes to $200 for lifetime access, $19.99 when paid monthly, or $120 when paid yearly. The subscription is only charged once the sequencing is done and the results are uploaded. The subscription includes premium support by geneticists, access to multiple new reports weekly, the use of deep ancestry analysis tools, and the unlimited exploration of your genome.
How does the test work?
Nebula genomics is available in 188 countries, and the collection kit relies on the principles that have made the success of other personal genomics companies. Once ordered, a saliva collection tube is shipped. Users just need to collect a few milliliters of saliva, register their kit number on the company website and send back the collection tube. Once sequenced, the data are uploaded, and the user has direct access to them.
Nebula Genomics also offers people the possibility to complete their DNA analysis with other companies, such as Ancestry, Family Tree, or 23andMe, to upload their raw data and benefit from the 35 million genetic variants they base their analyses on.
To wrap up
Nebula Genomics is on a path to revolutionize how personal genomics is being processed and data handling. Their tests are backed up by robust science, emphasizing discoveries and research.
The Ultra-Deep analysis may not be needed for everybody, but offering whole genome sequencing for $299 is an amazing way to go one step beyond exploring its personal DNA while being protected by robust blockchain-backed privacy technologies.
Stay tuned for our full review of the Nebula Genomics test kit.
The DNA comprises 4 chemical bases (Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, Guanine) assembled in 3 billion pairs among the 46 chromosomes. They will code for the twenty thousand genes that make up the human genome. Whole Genome sequencing means that the whole human genome will be read, thus providing a complete analysis of our genetic make-up.
By reading all the DNA, whole genome sequencing provides the most accurate analyses of the genetic code, including the variations and mutations. Hence, it provides answers on the potential risk of developing a disease or responding positively to treatments targeting a specific genetic sequence.
Nebula Genomics is innovative at several levels. Firstly, it provides the most complete and best-priced Whole Genome Sequencing to the general public. Secondly, partnering with the company Oasis Lab offers a very secure environment to analyze the results according to your authorization criteria. The access relies on blockchain technology that allows establishing an immutable distributed ledger of the various access. The company also offers testing on an anonymous basis for complete privacy of the results.
Nebula Genomics offers an unrivaled DNA accuracy at an unrivaled price. For those just looking about their ancestors, such accuracy and whole-genome sequencing may not be needed, though. But, for those interested in analyzing or discovering potential rare mutations, Nebula Genomics is undoubtedly the best company on the market.
It takes an average of one to two weeks to receive the collection kits and eight to ten weeks to complete the sequencing analyses and data uploading process.