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Nebula Genomics

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Nebula Genomics is a personal genome sequencing company that offers direct-to-consumer DNA testing. The company was founded in 2016 by a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, Professor George Church.

Professor Church enlisted the help of two Harvard researchers to design a way to lower the cost of genome sequencing while maintaining accuracy. The team was able to lower the cost below $1,000 to make these tests more affordable to the average consumer. 

Nebula Genomics decodes 100 percent of your DNA to offer robust genetic health and ancestry analysis. Other major DNA companies decode less than 1 percent of your total sequence. Nebula Genomics analyzes over 6 billion sites on your DNA strand.

Customers can purchase a 30x or 100x whole genome sequencing kit. The DNA test kit name represents the number of times the genetic sequencing machine reads every letter of your DNA. This means that if you purchase a 30x genetic sequencing kit, each part of your DNA will be read 30 times.

The DNA kits require a simple cheek swab for saliva collection. Genetic reports are returned within 8 to 10 weeks of the lab receiving your DNA sample. 

Keep reading our Nebula Genomics review for the pros and cons of testing with this DNA company.

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The Good

  • Whole Genome Sequencing
  • Continuous Library Updates
  • Partnership with FamilyTreeDNA
  • Free DNA Download
  • Privacy Protection 
  • Paid Research Opportunities
  • Raw DNA Upload

Whole Genome Sequencing

Whole genome sequencing has historically been an expensive procedure. For this reason, consumers have not been offered this DNA testing option unless they were willing to pay thousands of dollars.

Nebula Genomics has found a way to reduce the test cost to make it available to average customers. The DNA sequencing method reads your DNA strands multiple times to ensure accuracy. This testing method is also more informative when searching for specific genetic mutations and rare diseases. 

Continuous Library Updates

The company continues to upload new research related to specific genetic markers and expressions. You can sort the library by date added, date published, and polygenic score (what are your strongest genes).

These genetic reports are highly detailed and include the variants, the allele you have, and your Genotype. You can also navigate to the original studies from the library to learn more about specific genes.

If have a current subscription, you can access these library updates and observe new insights related to your genetic makeup.

Partnership with FamilyTreeDNA

Nebula Genomics partners with FamilyTreeDNA to give customers access to an established ancestry network. FamilyTreeDNA analyzes Y Chromosome DNA and Mitochondrial DNA testing so customers can trace their paternal and maternal lineage.

This DNA analysis also improves the overall accuracy of the ancestry results. 

Free DNA Download

Nebula Genomics believes that you should have full ownership of your genetic information. As the DNA data owner, customers can download their genome files in a variety of formats. These include CRAM, CRAI, FASTQ, VCF, and TBI.

The company recommends downloading this report on a desktop computer or online storage because the file will likely be too large for a mobile device. 

Privacy Protection

Privacy protection is a top priority for Nebula Genomics. The company partners with Oasis Labs to provide the newest privacy technology. The DNA database is set up to give you secure access and control of your genetic information.

The partnership also makes it possible for you to see a history of how your data has been accessed. The added security measures are great for those with DNA data privacy concerns.

Paid Research Opportunities

Nebula Genomics was first created with the mission to protect personal genetic data. Using a blockchain platform, Nebula Genomics created a way to anonymize DNA samples and protect personal information.

This system created a way for Nebula users to get paid when they participate in a medical research study and opt-in to share their genetic data. This is a unique offering that other DNA companies rarely provide. 

Raw DNA Upload

Customers who have taken a test with another DNA test provider such as 23andMe or AncestryDNA can upload their raw DNA data to Nebula Genomics.

The new report will not produce nearly as much information as you would get from taking a whole genome sequencing test.

However, you are likely to get additional information not provided on your original report. 

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The Bad

  • Expensive Kit Prices
  • Long Processing Time
  • Mandatory Subscription Service
  • Time in Business
  • Location of Labs 

Expensive Kit Prices

Nebula Genomics offers some of the most expensive direct-to-consumer DNA tests on the market. The personal genomics company offers two different testing options: 30x and 100x Whole Genome Sequencing.

The 30x coverage decodes every segment in your genome 30 times to ensure accuracy. The 100x coverage uses the same process except every position is decoded about 100 times.

Both options decode 100 percent of your DNA strand. People who are seeking information on a rare genetic disease should purchase the 100x coverage to improve accuracy. 

Prices range from $299–$999 depending on what kit you get. According to the Nebula Genomics website, these tests are valued at $1,000–$3,500 illustrating the point that customers are getting a lot of information for their dollar.

While these prices might seem higher compared to other consumer DNA tests, the overall cost for whole genome sequencing is much cheaper than what other genome sequencing companies offer.

Nebula Genomics also provides free shipping worldwide and free return postage for those in the United States. 

Long Processing Time

On average, customers wait 8–10 weeks to receive their testing results after the lab obtains their sample. This is a long wait time compared to other DNA testing companies.

If you plan on buying this as a gift for someone or around the busy holiday season, expect an even longer wait. 

Mandatory Subscription Service

If you thought the individual tests were expensive, be prepared to increase your total cost with a mandatory subscription service to Nebula Explorer.

You must select a subscription option when you purchase a test. Subscription can be yearly or monthly depending on how long you want to commit. You can also opt for lifetime access.

Nebula Genomics gives you the option to cancel your subscription at any time after purchase. Once your subscription expires, you will no longer have access to your reports and online data tools.

However, you will always be able to access and download your genomic data. 

Time in Business

Consumer DNA testing is a growing industry that has attracted new competitors. Nebula Genomics entered the industry in 2018. Other top companies such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA have been in the industry for 10 years or more. BestCompany.com does not have any review data to validate the value and effectiveness of the Nebula Genomics tests.

Location of Labs

After the Nebula Genomics team receives your sample, the sample is given a code and shipped off to a Hong Kong lab for gene analysis. Some individuals worry about their DNA data being shared internationally.

Nebula Genomics has a strict privacy policy to help ease any concerns about leaked data. Your sample will be given a random number that is untraceable to your personal information. The company also plans to create labs in North America and Europe. 

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The Bottom Line

Nebula Genomics offers a unique testing option for those seeking more knowledge about their genetic makeup. The DNA testing company is a leader in whole-genome sequencing providing in-depth genetic analysis to its customers.

As genetic research continues, Nebula Genomics will become a powerful tool for understanding and anticipating genetic abnormalities. 

The total cost of the DNA test and the mandatory subscription service make this one of the most expensive tests on the market.

However, the heath and genetic results from Nebula Genomics are likely to be more accurate than other tests that analyze less than 1 percent of your DNA.

If you think you may be at risk for a genetic disease, then Nebula Genomics may be a good option for understanding your risk early on. 

Have you used Nebula Genomics testing services? Would you recommend it to a friend? Let us know by leaving a review below. 

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