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What the cell is ‘Blockchain’?

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What the cell is Blockchain? 

And why are Life Science companies getting involved?

If like us at Orbit Search , the foreign language that is Blockchain, Bit Coin, Crypto currency has been popping up all over your news feeds but you still haven’t a clue what it is, then I would like to introduce you to an article that we found (we have read A LOT of different explanations thus far) and consider to be the clearest and most condensed description so far…

“What Is Blockchain?

A blockchain is a distributed database that acts as a peer-to-peer ledger system.  It is often discussed in the context of Bitcoin, a decentralised digital currency.

“The blockchain is…the core technology that underlies [Bitcoin] and what arguably gives it its value and utility,” said Nathan Wosnack, Founder and CEO of blockchain technology startup Ubitquity, in an interview.  “The blockchain allows any individual or party to independently verify that a transaction or record existed in a certain form at a certain time.”

The distributed, decentralised nature of blockchain allows for a truer, more independent consensus than any authority-based system, blockchain advocates argue.  To explain how this benefit works, Ubitquity CTO Christian Saucier used the example of a credit card transaction in a separate interview.

“Your bank or your credit card could reject the transaction, [putting you] at the mercy of [a] central authority [that can] go in and play around with those numbers and make those numbers appear or disappear magically,” said Saucier.  “With blockchain, that is not possible.  There’s no central database in blockchain technology.”

Indeed, a blockchain works similar to torrenting or peer-to-peer systems, where thousands of computers around the world are connected and running the same software, working with the same data, and tracking the data all the way back to its origins…”


So, how are Health Care companies and Life Sciences benefiting from this ?

“Keeping Medicine Honest and Accurate

The inherent provenance benefits of blockchain are allowing the healthcare and life-science industries to indelibly record medicinal and genomic data that will effectively combat counterfeit pharmaceuticals and protect intellectual property.

One company that has made great strides in doing just that is Medicinal Genomics (“MGC”).  MGC is a Boston-based plant-genomics company and wholly owned subsidiary of Courtagen Life Sciences—a clinical genomics firm devoted to sequencing patients with seizure disorders such as epilepsy, developmental and intellectual disabilities (including those on the autism spectrum), and mitochondrial disease.  According to Kevin McKernan, CSO of both MGC and Courtagen, all of these diseases have links to the endocannabinoid system, a system of receptors in the brain and central nervous system that help mediate mood, appetite and memory.  Because of this system’s reaction to cannabis, medical marijuana research and treatment is of particular interest to both companies.  Accordingly, MGC focuses on safety testing and genomic fingerprinting for cannabis strains.

“We are using the blockchain for proof of existence,” McKernan told Bio-IT World.  “It has various defensive IP benefits.  As cannabis patents issue, they are getting broad claims as there is no legitimate proof of prior art in the field.  The blockchain has become that proof of prior utility to publicly declare your genetics and hopefully [ward] off patent trolls from getting egregious claims.”

McKernan went on to describe a “rush” to get strains “digitally notarized” via the independent and reproducible verification of blockchain technology as more patents with genotype claims issue.

Blockchain’s provenance-proving capabilities go beyond IP protection, noted McKernan, reporting some companies are considering using blockchain for recording supply-chain data relating to LIMS transactions and chains of custody—ensuring that these data remain securely decentralized and encrypted.”

Written by Joe Stanganelli from Bio-IT World


We hope this has helped somewhat… This information has been taken from, from the following link where you can find more in depth information on how Blockchain is helping Genomics research…  clickhere

OS gnt


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