San Francisco 49ers Want Your Blood for Human Genome Research

NFL Team Partners With Biotech Firm to Crowdsource Blood Cells

Published On
Jun 30, 2016

Editor's Pick

Donating blood is not your typical pre-game ritual but it might be for San Francisco 49er fans this season. The NFL franchise has teamed up with Boston-based biotech company Orig3n, Inc. to support genetic and regenerative medicine research, in an initiatie conceived out of Havas PR.

Under the "Faithful DNA" program, football fans who donate blood to Orig3n or purchase a LifeProfile genetic assessment will have the chance to win exclusive 49er prizes, such as autographed football gear from the five-time Super Bowl champions or tickets to a "draft day experience."

"This is the first agreement of its kind and we're excited to provide our fans with a unique opportunity to form personal connections with the 49ers in a way that contributes to human genome research," 49ers Chief Operating Officer Ethan Casson stated in a press release.

Orig3n representatives will be stationed within Levi's Stadium at the start of the NFL pre-season in August to collect blood samples for LifeCapsule, the world's largest crowdsourced cell repository for human genome research to find causes and treatments of rare genetically inherited diseases. Samples are used to generate induced pluripotent stem cells that then develop into neurons, heart or liver cells.

"What we're trying to do with LifeCapsule is get that snapshot of humanity and large diverse sets of people into our cell bank," said Orig3n CEO Robin Y. Smith. "This partnership gives us the ability to expand that."

Read the full story on the Orig3n and 49ers team-up on And for another interesting blood donation-meets-spots idea, check out this U.K. initiative involving rugby stars.


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