Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It?
Updated on March 18, 2024
Back to top
back to top icon
DNA Testing
Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It?

Most genetic testing companies decode less than 1% of your DNA. Nebula Genomics’ DNA kit can analyze 100% of your genome.

Their Whole Genome Sequencing Kit is far more complete than other at-home DNA test kits. It’s even more accurate than Ancestry DNA and 23andMe.

While Nebula Genomics offers better accuracy and more genetic data, it can cost you about $2,000 if it isn’t on sale. Is all that extra data really worth the price?

I ordered a kit and had my DNA tested to find out.

In this Nebula Genomics kit review, we’ll explore what you’ll get with this advanced DNA test.

Nebula Genomics Review Summary

Nebula Genomics Pros

  • Whole genome sequencing tests decode 100% of your DNA
  • More comprehensive results than most competitors
  • Gives you complete control of your raw DNA data
  • DNA reports are updated with the latest genetic research
  • Traits report covers genes that affect your appearance and health
  • Lets you upload your raw DNA from other companies for free
  • Free DNA expansion can identify 50 times more data than your original file
  • Free return postage for sending in your DNA sample

Nebula Genomics Cons

  • More expensive than most of the competition
  • You need to pay the hidden subscription cost to receive your reports
  • Free DNA analysis of your raw DNA provides limited reports
  • You may need tools or genetic professionals to read your raw DNA

Nebula Genomics gives you better results than other DNA testing companies. It’s the only service that provides whole genome sequencing.

You can get detailed reports on your traits, ancestry, and health risks. It also connects you to lost family members and potential relatives.

Nebula Genomics can provide you with up to 300 GB of raw genetic data, plus tools to help you interpret them. Of course, these come at a hefty price and can cost you upwards of $299.

If you don’t need Nebula’s overwhelming information, there are more affordable DNA tests to choose from.

Know Your DNA Reviews

Best DNA Kit

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Read our best DNA test page to find the best one for you.

What is Nebula Genomics?

  • One of the biggest DNA testing companies to offer whole genome sequencing
  • Founded in 2016 by Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church
  • Co-founded with Harvard researchers Dennis Grishin and Kamal Obbad
  • Won the “Best in Show” award in the SXSW Pitch competition in 2019
  • Develops secure, transparent, and controllable genomic data-sharing technology
  • Offers at-home DNA tests that can decode 100% of your DNA

Quick Facts on Nebula Genomics WGS Test Kit

Sample CollectionSaliva sample
DNA Testing TypeY-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA
Speed8 weeks
Privacy ProtectionStrong

Whole genome sequencing is a breakthrough in science. It has been very helpful in identifying disorders that run in families. It is also able to characterize the specific mutation in the gene that drives diseases like cancer. On a larger scale, it is used for tracking disease outbreaks.

My Experience Getting Nebula Genomics DNA Kit

I ordered the kit and sent my DNA sample for testing purposes. The box is shipped in a discrete envelope. Nebula Genomics has terrific packaging:

Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It? 6

I had a typo on my order, and they could have sent it to the unit next to me. But Nebula fixed this in transit, and I received my order.

After you open the box, you’ll have the DNA test kit in front of you. It includes:

  • Sample vial
  • Plastic pouch for returning samples
  • Sample collection swabs
  • Prepaid return envelope
Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It? 7

Nebula Genomics gives you a return package with the label attached and everything. Overall, I give its collection and send-in process an easy 5 out of 5.

Nebula Genomics overall is an easy test to take. Simply follow the send-in steps below. Remember not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes before the test:

  1. Once you’ve received your kit, create a Nebula Genomics account on their website. You’ll need to input the serial numbers that are printed on each sample vial.
  2. Fill out the survey on the website as accurately as possible. They will ask for information such as the medications you’re taking and your family history.
  3. Take your first sample collection swab. Rub it on the inside of your cheek for at least 45 seconds to collect cheek cells.
  4. Completely immerse the tip in the collection liquid. Carefully stir the swab 20 to 30 times to dilute your sample and avoid spilling.
  5. Repeat steps three and four with the other swab on the opposite cheek.
  6. Place the sample vials inside the plastic pouch that’s included with your kit.
  7. Put the pouch in the prepaid return envelope, then send it back to them.

One difference between Nebula Genomics and competitors like 23andMe and Ancestry is that you won’t send in the actual cheek swab. You’ll just send the liquid in which your sample was diluted.

What Nebula Genomics Reports Look Like

Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It? 8

Once Nebula Genomics is done with your DNA analysis, you will receive a genome sequencing report. It will be broken down into five categories:

Traits Report

Your traits report covers the following:

  • Appearance and hormones — Includes traits that affect your appearance, hormones, and other observable traits. These include earwax type, freckling, hair thickness, and genetic predispositions that cause low testosterone.
  • Behavior and perception — Looks into traits that affect your senses and personality. Examples include alcohol sensitivity, asparagus metabolite odor, caffeine use, cilantro preference, misophonia, nicotine response, pain sensitivity, and snacking behavior.
  • Body and athleticism — You’ll receive information on 11 traits that affect your physical health. These include blood pressure, height, jimmy legs, longevity, muscle strength, muscle volume, nearsightedness, obesity, physical conditioning, skin sensitivity, and sleep depth.
  • Nutrition and diet — Covers traits that influence your eating habits and digestion. Examples are hunger response, lactose intolerance, sweet tooth, vitamin B12 deficiency, vitamin C deficiency, and vitamin D deficiency.

Deep Genetic Ancestry

Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It? 9

It doesn’t just look at your autosomal DNA, which most competitors do. The company also works with Family Tree DNA to explore your Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

This allows Nebula Genomics to give you a more complete ancestry analysis, which includes:

  • A detailed breakdown of your ancestral origins
  • The amount of DNA you share with people from different regions and ethnic groups around the world
  • The migration patterns of your male and female ancestors

It can also connect you to potential relatives from both your maternal and paternal lines.

Oral Microbiome Report

Nebula Genomics can analyze the bacteria present in your mouth. This can help them predict your risk for certain diseases, such as:1

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Remember that an oral microbiome report cannot diagnose the above conditions. Certain microbes may increase your risk of developing these conditions, but other risk factors like lifestyle, diet, and the environment may still contribute.

Polygenic Scores

Nebula Genomics looks at the combined effects of different genetic variants for which you tested positive. From there, it calculates your genetic risk for particular traits or diseases.

For example, your scores can tell you if you’re more likely to suffer from a heart attack or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)—among other conditions.

Take note that you must be careful when interpreting your scores. Polygenic scores may be misinterpreted if you have no knowledge of genetics. It’s best to consult with a geneticist, a genetic counselor, or a medical practitioner for advice on how to decrease your risks from these conditions.

Nebula Library

Nebula Genomics Review: Is Whole Genome Sequencing Worth It? 10

The Nebula Library contains over 200 reports on different genetic variants. New reports are added every week to the ever-growing library.

Here are some examples of what you might get with this report:

  • Factors that increase your risk for certain cancers2
  • Genetic variants that are associated with a longer healthspan3
  • Genes that affect the way your body metabolizes fat3

The Nebula Research Library keeps you up-to-date with the latest genetic research on your traits. You can use these insights to make healthier choices, such as adjusting your diet and lifestyle to your genetic makeup.

This knowledge base can help lower your health risks and improve your overall health.

Genome Exploration Tools

Apart from analyzing your DNA samples, the company lets you upload raw DNA from Nebula Genomics and other genetic testing companies.

It provides tools that allow you to interpret your data. You can access them with a subscription. But you can also upload your DNA for free and get limited reports.5

Genetic Data Analysis

This tool reads your DNA file, calculates your Polygenic Scores, and pulls up reports from the Nebula Library. This analysis will be based on your unique genetic profile.

As long as you’re subscribed, you’ll get weekly updates on your traits from the latest findings of genetic researchers. Polygenic Scores help you predict your genetic health predispositions.

Genome Browser

Your raw DNA data will include a list of your genetic traits, which look like a combination of letters and numbers. This tool helps you understand what these codes mean.

For example, you might be curious about the CYP1A2 gene in your report. You can type it into the Genome Browser to learn more about it.

The tool can also help you find genes that increase your genetic predisposition to certain health problems. 

It’s an interesting feature, but you won’t be able to make much sense of your results on your own. Be sure to take your results to a genetic counselor or geneticist who can read your raw DNA data.

DNA Data Expansion

If you have DNA data from Ancestry and 23andMe, this tool can “fill in” the missing pieces of your report using a statistical process called imputation.

Nebula Genomics says they can expand your DNA file to include more than 35 million genetic markers. You basically get 50 times more information than your original file.5

How Much Does Nebula Genomics Cost?

Nebula Genomics can cost you anywhere from $110 to $3,274. It depends on the test, your subscription plan, and whether or not the kit was bought on sale.

Nebula Whole Genome Sequencing Kits

You can choose from 2 whole genome tests that test 100% of your DNA:

  • Nebula Genomics Deep DNA – $249
  • Nebula Genomics Ultra Deep DNA – $899

Both kits give you the same results but with different accuracies. Deep DNA 30x whole genome sequencing. It generates up to 100 gigabytes of raw data with “high” accuracy.

Ultra Deep DNA has a genomic sequencing depth of 100x. It can produce up to 300 gigabytes of downloadable raw DNA with “ultra-high” accuracy.

You can get either test on sale for $299 or $999.

Nebula Explore Reporting

In addition to testing costs, Nebula Genomics will charge you for a report called Explore Reporting. It’s only available on subscription:

  • Yearly Subscription – $12.49 per month, billed yearly for $149.88
  • Quarterly Subscription – $24.99 per month, billed every 3 months for $74.97
  • Lifetime Subscription – $295 billed one-time

Your subscription includes in-depth ancestry results, unlimited access to tools, and premium support from geneticists. You also get weekly updates based on the latest genetic research.

You can’t opt out or cancel your subscription until after they’ve analyzed your DNA. So if this is your first time with the DNA company, you have no other option but to subscribe.

How Nebula Genomics Protects Your Privacy

Here’s how Nebula Genomics keeps your information safe. They:

  • Give you complete and irreversible ownership of your raw DNA
  • Control who has access to your genetic data
  • Decide how your DNA data is used and for what purpose
  • Use a secure environment to protect your DNA data
  • Keep track of who has accessed your genetic information

Nebula Genomics offers Privacy First DNA Testing, which makes it one of the most private DNA tests. It partnered with Oasis Labs, so you can conveniently protect your privacy with an app.6

When you open an account, you can choose how they use your information. They make sure they:

  • Never allow the sharing of your information under any circumstances
  • Have the company ask you before using or sharing your genetic information
  • Allow an anonymized version of your genetic information for research purposes instead of a version of your data that includes information you chose to keep private

If you let Nebula Genomics use your information, they have to compensate you. Regardless of what you choose, you will retain ownership over your genetic information.

Nebula Genomics uses blockchain technology to assure users of their privacy. They also claim to offer anonymous genetic sequencing.

Is Nebula Genomics Accurate?

Yes. Nebula Genomics offers one of the most accurate DNA test kits on the market. The company’s tests provide 10,000 times more data than competing genetic tests.

The kit does more than autosomal DNA testing. It also performs Y-DNA and mtDNA testing to give you a more comprehensive report.

The company uses a next-generation gene analysis tool that sequences all of your DNA. It can reveal all of your genetic variants and provide incredibly reliable results.

Nebula Genomics checks 6,000,000,000 positions on one’s gene to provide the utmost accuracy.

Nebula Genomics vs. Other At-Home DNA Tests

Compared to other DNA sequencing companies, Nebula offers something different. It decodes 100% of your DNA. Most competitors only decode a fraction of your DNA (0.02%).7

FeatureNebula Genomics23andMeAncestryDNA
FocusGenomic Data, DNA TestingDNA TestingDNA Testing
Test TypeWhole-Genome SequencingSNP GenotypingSNP Genotyping
Health ReportsYes (Premium Service)YesYes (Premium Service)
Third-Party IntegrationIntegration With Other ServicesLimitedLimited
Cost (Starts at)$110$199$99

While 23andMe and AncestryDNA read DNA at 600,000 positions, Nebula Genomics offers next-generation sequencing (NGS) that reads genetic information at 6 billion positions.

Nebula Genomics also offers 30X and 100X whole genome sequencing. This means it can sequence your entire genome 30 to 100 times, including your:

  • Genes (coding regions)
  • Regulatory genomic regions 
  • The male Y chromosomes (YDNA)
  • Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA)

While most competitors only check on your recent ancestry, Nebula Genomics digs deeper. It looks into the family history of your maternal and paternal lines.

It can also test for genetic health risks, including genes you may have acquired from your mother or father. It can be beneficial for uncovering rare genetic mutations.

Nebula Genomics stands out because it can sequence DNA at a much faster and larger scale.

Know Your DNA Reviews

The Best DNA Test

Looking for a DNA test that's accurate and can tell you about your health and heritage?

Updated on March 18, 2024
Minus IconPlus Icon
7 sources cited
Updated on March 18, 2024
  1. Nebula Reporting, What’s Inside?” Nebula Genomics.
  2. Luminal B-like breast cancer (Zhang, 2020).” Nebula Genomics.
  3. Healthspan (Timmers, 2020).” Nebula Genomics.
  4. Fat consumption (Meddens, 2020).” Nebula Genomics
  5. Free DNA upload, expansion, and analysis.” Nebula Genomics.
  6. Oasis Labs Partnership.” Nebula Genomics.
  7. Whole Genome Sequencing DNA Test.” Nebula Genomics.
Dr. Rizza Mira
Dr. Rizza Mira
Medical Reviewer
Dr. Rizza Mira is a medical doctor and a general practitioner who specializes in pediatrics, nutrition, dietetics, and public health.

As a pediatrician, she is dedicated to the general health and well-being of children and expecting parents. She believes that good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and prevention of illness are key to ensuring the health of children and their families.

When she’s not in the hospital, Rizza advocates and mobilizes causes like breastfeeding, vaccination drives, and initiatives to prevent illness in the community.
Ada Sandoval
Ada Sandoval
Content Contributor
Ada Sandoval is a B.S. in Nursing graduate and a registered nurse with a heart for abandoned animals. She works as a content writer who specializes in medical-related articles and pet health.