Intel has received a patent for blockchain technology Sequence Mining Platform (SMP) that uses the power of cryptocurrency mining to decrypt the genetic data genome sequencing.
In its patent application filed in June 2016 and published by the Office of patents and trademarks USA (USPTO) on 14 December 2017, the authors of the idea of Ned Smith and Rajesh Purnachandra describe mining platform genome sequencing that will determine the order of nitrogenous bases in DNA or RNA.
DNA consists of two chains twisted into a spiral. Each chain is a sequence of special compounds called nucleotides, most of which are nitrogenous base. In DNA four types: A (adenine), T (thymine), G (guanine), C (cytosine). The nucleotides in opposite strands of DNA are not haphazardly, but according to a certain principle (complementarity): “A” is connected to “T”, “G” connects to “C”. In fact, any genetic information carries just one circuit, and the second is needed in case something to repair the first (principle of complementarity). – approx.
Bitcoin is often attacked by environmentalists for using huge amounts of eletroenergii for mining. Intel does not aim to reduce the energy consumption of the Bitcoin. The idea is to use the energy of mining that is already consumed for other purposes.
In the documents of the patent explains the principle of operation of such a mining platform. She would sequence the genome by determining the sequence of bases in nucleic acid. Subsequently, the platform will use the data obtained in the algorithm Proof of Work for mining blocks. After determining the genome information about it will also be recorded in the chain of blocks. The result of the sequencing of the nucleic bases will be checked PoW before it will be recorded in the blockchain forever.
Because the miners will solve two problems simultaneously: cryptocurrency mining and sequencing of nucleic bases — the inventors refer to this type of PoW as “multitasking”. Comparing the process with traditional bitcoin mining, they state:
“This is a real discovery! In addition to the traditional hashing this allows miners to perform additional useful work when creating proofs of work (PoW) for new blocks. The miners determine the sequence of nucleic bases in the generation PoW. And since the miner performs the additional useful work, a PoW can be called “multi-tasking POW”, and work to create a PoW can be considered as “multi-tasking operations PoW”.
The SMP will use genetic sequencing data, in particular for determining the sequence of nucleotides in the nucleic acid (e.g., DNA or RNA). Based on the order of the nucleotide bases are defined by physical characteristics of the organisms.
According to the patent application, the results of nucleotide sequencing will bring many benefits to science and society:
“Perhaps the findings will help to advance the treatment of cancer and many other diseases, to explain the appearance of abnormalities and mutations. Helps a lot to delve deeper into the biological ecosystem and even save endangered species of animals and plants”