Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Donate Blood, Get Sequenced

Some blood donors in the San Diego area are getting their genomes sequenced for free, KPBS reports.

Some 70 San Diego Blood Bank donors who give blood as part of the Chargers Blood Drive will have their genomes sequenced by Illumina. Though, it's part of the blood bank's effort to develop a DNA database to help researchers link genes with health outcomes, the selected donors will also receive their sequencing results.

Pre-selected participant Penelope Navarro, a breast cancer survivor, tells KPBS that she agreed to take part to learn about what diseases and conditions may affect her family. By participating, she's also agreed that her genome can be used for research purposes.

Illumina says that it's providing its sequencing service for free in a bid to attract a more diverse group of people donate their DNA for research. "Precision medicine is inherently community-based medicine," Illumina's Dawn Barry says. "So it shouldn't just be about the community, it should include the community. And that's really what we're doing here, is including the community in precision medicine."

The company adds that if the pilot program is successful, it hopes that other blood banks around the country may want to follow suit.