Medicinal Genomics, the cannabis genome mapping company funded by the Dash network, has recently released a pre-print of their paper discussing their findings of mapping a larger part of the cannabis genome ever done to date.
In addition to Medicinal Genomics wanting to prove the prior art exemption of the Jamaican Lion strain to protect it from the Biotech Institute LLC patent, they also want to show that Dash and cryptocurrencies can vastly improve the academic peer review process. Combining revolutionary genome mapping technology and techniques with Dash funding they were able to pursue research and the peer review process in an unconventional way. Kevin McKernan, the Chief Science Officer of MGC, told DFN how Dash can disrupt the scientific review process for the better.
“Reducing friction of peer review doesn’t mean removing it, but instead incentivizing it. Pay them to review. 42% of potential reviewers turn down peer review because they don’t have time. The hardest part is finding reviewers to donate their time and get no credit, while all profits go to publisher.”
Kevin further highlighted how the academic review process is suffering from a misalignment of incentives, where the academics available to review papers are mostly individuals that do not value their time. However, quality researchers and papers want the best reviewers, which tend to be busy individuals that highly value their time. Kevin described how Dash can fix this by creating a market with prices, which will allow for better allocation of resources – academics’ time. Kevin also added how this structure will incentivize better quality papers to be submitted and quality specialization among reviewers to emerge since there would then be disincentives for poor quality. This is a big issue because of a current crisis in academia where roughly half of all scientific experiments cannot be accurately replicated, which used to be considered a core tenant of getting published.
Medicinal Genomics accelerates the research process
Medicinal Genomics has been able to push their pre-print out in only five months, which typically can take years. Kevin attributed the delay that normally occurs to the fact that many researchers “HODL their data” for awhile because “peer reviewing and publishing is a long and expensive process”, which causes researchers to want to have the most and best data possible before they begin this process. Kevin completed the analogy with a flashback to when Bitcoin fees skyrocketed, many Bitcoin users optimized by only spending Bitcoin on a few large purchases. Instead, Medicinal Genomics being funded by Dash has allowed them to pay quality reviewers and have an overall more efficient operating system, which has expedited the pace of scientific discovery. This has huge implications if it can be rolled out to other studies and fields by speeding up research and learning.
Their quick pace of research and publishing has yielded results that have swiftly gained attention from all over the world causing many researchers to donate data sets, which has even further improved their research capabilities. The Cannabis Council of Canada (CCC), which has just seen cannabis legalized nation-wide and represents 85% of Canada’s licensed producers, has been working with a law firm to invalidate the Biotech Institute LLC patent that is trying to push up into Canada. While the patent is less broad in Canada than the USA, it still poses a risk to a free and open market. So CCC has reached out to Medicinal Genomics to ask for more of their research, including the immutable proof on the Dash blockchain, to be included in their lawsuit against the patent holder. Medicinal Genomics hopes to soon have the genetic traits from the original Jamaican Lion parent, which will even further validate arguments against the patent and allow more entrepreneurship.
Medicinal Genomics is also publishing their findings in an easily searchable interface on Kannapedia to be an all inclusive stop for cannabis genetic information that can be verified through the Dash blockchain. Kevin told DFN how this database has many potential uses that range from enabling better academic research, helping breeders and growers fine-tune strains better, and helping consumers and merchants better understand the products they are buying and selling. However, Kevin said that right now they are just focused on making sure the information is as extensive as possible. Medicinal Genomics will also host CannMed, a gathering of scientific cannabis researchers, in California, USA next week to share their findings and the ability of Dash to not only aid the cannabis industry, but also improve academic research in general.
Dash is working to make this disruption a norm
It was recently revealed that Dash Labs has been working on the Dash Labs Data Collection Protocol to be a decentralized marketplace for academic peer review. Since the Dash Labs news is so new, Kevin and his team still need to communicate with Dash Labs to find out how the two groups can work together, but he already recognizes that Dash Labs is building the infrastructure for what him and his team have envisioned and is currently pioneering through raw, brute force. The overlap of their initiatives also helps validate the demand for each other’s projects. Kevin also sees potential in partnering with a POS provider, such as Alt36, to harness their cannabis genome information and allow cannabis to be tracked and monitored at the DNA level during each stage of the cannabis supply chain since most current Seed-to-Sale tracking systems are dysfunctional. All these features enables Dash to expand its consumer outreach and usage as more individuals use the speed, inexpensiveness, and security of the Dash network to further accomplish their academic or commercial goals.