The Genome Center In Your Backpack

By miniaturizing genome sequencers and sequencing samples “on the fly,” Indigenous communities around the world can participate as citizen scientists by performing genome sequencing in Indigenous spaces. Recent advancements in mobile technology make it possible for scientists to generate genetic data in the field, by using genome sequencers the size of USB drives. By “de-blackboxing” hardware and computation we are entering an era where we can finally bring esoteric concepts like“human genome sequencing,” to communities that traditionally distrust westernized science. Imagine a smartphone with the addition of BRCK (the back-up generator for the internet); this means internet access anywhere in the world. It means that genomic-specific software that can be accessed in the the field, even in remote, Indigenous spaces. Thanks to partners BRCK and Oxford Nanopore we can bring the genome center in your backpack to life. For the first time in history we truly have the potential to democratize human genome sequencing

 

“We’re indigenizing genomics. Our presence alone is doing that.”

-Keolu Fox (Hawaiian, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Washington, Department of Genome Sciences)