Online anonymous DNA program offers $50 for your spit

Company matches donors to scientific studies which need DNA

While some may have donated blood for money, such as at plasma centers, a new innovation is promising payments to qualified donors who spit in a tube and mail it back in.

DNAsimple, a company featured on ABC’s Shark Tank this year, is promising to offer $50 as base compensation for your spit. The company is trying to double the pace of genetic research by providing scientists with the DNA they need for medical testing done in studies.

Unlike a plasma center, however, these donations don’t require you to take a needle. Simply sign up at their website, (click here to visit), and fill out medical information. The company is a match-making service between researchers and donors who would like participate in studies, their FAQ says, so they don’t store your information. Each time a new medical study comes up that you fit the profile for, they will contact you, the website says.

There are no sign-up costs. The studies promise to be anonymous and not ethnicity based.

We take privacy extremely seriously at DNAsimple, and we’ve built a system designed to protect it from day one. If you have any concerns about privacy before or after signing up, please feel free to contact us with your thoughts. – Company Statement

As an added security mechanism, the company will not allow sign-ups through social media such as Facebook. NEA Report tried to sign up to see if any studies were available or what the process looked like. Unfortunately, none showed up for this reporter. In the company’s Frequently Asked Question sections, they stated one person qualified for “at least three” studies, indicating there may not have been a great deal of participation thus far from labs.

However, the feature on Shark Tank could change that. It might also mean more people sign up. At least one new customer did that day: Mark Cuban. He invested $200,000 for 15 percent. 

The sign-up steps are listed as follows, for those interested.

1. Sign up for a free account at DNAsimple

2. Provide basic demographic information, such as age and height

3. Fill out a brief medical history

4. If you don’t qualify now, the company will automatically notify you when you do

6. Review any study you match and decide if you want to participate

7. If you participate, complete a saliva kit at home and be compensated.

We will update this story when and if we are able to complete the first study and verify it works. If you’ve been able to complete any study, please let us know.

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