LunaDNA review – Can you get money for your DNA data?

LunaDNA Review Summary

LunaDNA is a community-owned platform for sharing genetic and health data and receiving compensation for it. Learn more in our LunaDNA review!

Nebula Genomics

LunaDNA logo
Ease of use


LunaDNA allows users to upload genetic data that contributes to research. The service is free and users can even make money by sharing their data. There is no DNA testing or analysis involved.


7 Facts from our LunaDNA Review 

  1. Location: San Diego, USA
  2. DNA connection: Exchanges genetic and personal health data for company shares
  3. Service: Users upload genetic and/or health data. They can then share their personal information with researchers to benefit scientific discoveries and drug development 
  4. Uploads: DNA files from companies like 23andMe, MyHeritage, AncestryDNA, and FamilyTree DNA. Health data through patient portals and Electronic Health Records
  5. Cost: Free
  6. Privacy: A secure service, with de-identified & pooled data, and user ownership over data 
  7. Complementary: Nebula Genomics offers advanced data security and provides 30x Whole Genome Sequencing, expanded health and ancestry reports, and more! 

This review is written with the intent to be as unbiased as possible. However, it represents the opinion of an individual reviewer and is therefore subjective. Furthermore, at Nebula Genomics we seek to educate the public about the benefits of Whole Genome Sequencing. Information about our Whole Genome Sequencing DNA test is therefore incorporated into the review.

August 19, 2022

Edited by Christina Swords, Ph.D.

Pros and Cons


  • You own your data 
  • All services are free
  • You can make money off your data 
  • Direct contributions to research and medical breakthroughs
  • Strong commitment to safety and privacy 


  • No form of genetic sequencing offered 
  • No analysis or reports based on genetic or health information 


LunaDNA (Luna DNA) is the first community-owned data platform for sharing medical and genomic information for health research. LunaPBC (Public Benefit Corporation) owns and operates LunaDNA, created as a platform that exchanges health and genomic data for ownership shares. 

The company is backed by several venture capital firms, including Illumina Ventures. It is also based in San Diego and co-founded by David Lewis, Bob Kain, and Dawn Barry, serving as President.

LunaDNA values developing a transparent and mutually beneficial community. This allows the members to be the primary focus of the service. Users can control their information and even profit from it. 

Are you interested in a complete DNA test and potentially sharing your data with researchers? Nebula Genomics offers Whole Genome Sequencing, a comprehensive genetic test that decodes 100% of your DNA. This data will be most useful to you as well as researchers if you decide to share it.

Review of How to Use LunaDNA

Review of LunaDNA – Sign Up

To sign up for an account, you must provide and confirm your email address. 

This is done through a two-step authentication using a code sent to your phone number. After you confirm your account, you next agree to their consent. Once done, you can explore data upload options.

Review of LunaDNA – Upload Data 

Once signed up, the first step to using the service is to upload your DNA and health data. It accepts files from 23andMe, AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, and FamilyTree DNA. It also asks for users to supplement their genomic raw data with health data.

Four tabs, several snippets, a photo of a group of five friends calling for users to invite family & friends, and a slide-up offering tools + resources
LunaDNA Dashboard

This can be electronic health records (EHRs), or you can connect your account with clinic patient portals. 

By providing more information to the service, members can receive more interpretations. This will help contribute to the advancement of genomic and medical research. 

As soon as health and DNA data is uploaded, it is all encrypted to ensure it cannot be linked to the user. In addition, users have complete control over their data at all times. 

Data never leaves LunaDNA databases. It is at the user’s discretion to share their genomic information in whatever way they see fit. Even when the company shares data with researchers, user’s personal data does not go with it. 

You do not need to upload DNA data to create an account with LunaDNA. Users can solely participate in health surveys or upload only their medical records. 

Three boxes next to each other with descriptions on DNA Data, Health Records, and Surveys with an action button in each of them in LunaDNA
Data sharing options to earn shares

To claim shares, you must be a United States resident and share your full name. Users must then contribute a DNA file or health record to receive shares. Current health surveys available are on mental wellness, COVID-19 health, family health, and personal health. 

Four buttons to click on with the options mental wellness, covid-19 health, family health survey, and personal health survey in LunaDNA
LunaDNA surveys

Health and wellness are becoming major aspects of a healthy workplace. Interested in data related to your employee health? You should check out IncentFit’s Employee Wellness Survey – a resource for employers!

Review of LunaDNA – Discovery

The main purpose of providing your data to LunaDNA is to benefit the “greater good”. 

Giving researchers access to genetic codes and health data accelerates research and helps develop new drugs.

Researchers usually pay to access the information. The company de-identifies user data, pools it with other data, and makes it visible only through the LunaDNA platform (i.e., researchers cannot download the data). 

Medical researchers may reach out to you directly to ask for further health information or participate in a clinical trial. Research would identify you based on genetic or health characteristics they identified through the randomized pool. 

By bringing data together into one platform, LunaDNA provides an easy-to-use, one-stop-shop for researchers. They can also get access to potential participants for clinical trials. This would identify people with specific genetic and health records that fit the criteria for research purposes. 

Review of LunaDNA – Earning Shares

In September 2019, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved LunaDNA’s shares-for-data feature. This means the company is authorized to give you company shares in exchange for your genetic and health data. You can be paid in U.S. dollars for your information if research conducted with shared data generates profit.

Wondering how much money you can make? It depends on the type of info provided. Each share is worth approximately $0.07. Here is a complete list of estimated fair market values:

List of member data provided, shares issued, and the estimated fair market value for LunaDNA
Data value estimates provided by LunaDNA

But there are other ways to increase your stock value in LunaDNA. You need to provide some additional health information like medical records. 

The company will offer intuitive ways for users to share their medical information in the future. These will include surveys, wearable devices to track biomarkers, and opportunities to join specific studies with LunaDNA partners.

Community Action in Genetic Research

The ultimate goal of LunaDNA is to mobilize the community to create the largest private database of genetic and health information. This will allow researchers to access information needed to conduct effective scientific tests and medical discoveries. It also maintains the safety and privacy of all those involved. 

Allowing users to control their data challenges the mold of typical genetic companies. It also allows the community to drive scientific innovation and participate in discoveries. 

LunaDNA provides case studies like Ellis Rose Quesada, a 9-year-old with cystic fibrosis. She and her mom explain their journey by getting treatment for Ellis and advocate for the importance of companies like LunaDNA. 

These databases allow pharmaceutical companies to find participants for essential drugs such as the cure for cystic fibrosis. Test services like this have provided Rose with improved quality and length of life. 

LunaDNA has partnered with DiseaseInfoSearch and XCures to create a library of information to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Users can participate in a quick survey after signing up. This will help scientists track long-term outcomes and treatment effectiveness of COVID-19 and assist in fighting future pandemics.

LunaDNA Cost

LunaDNA allows you to be a stakeholder in the company in exchange for raw DNA and health data. This means that you can make money. The amount will depend on how much information you have provided (see chart above for estimates). 

LunaDNA infographic with four different green icons organized in a rhombus shape and connected to each other with arrows
LunaDNA data sharing model

Review of LunaDNA Privacy and Data

LunaDNA provides the highest level of privacy and safety for its users. User data is never made public and never leaves the platform. All information is de-identified and aggregated into other member’s data. This ensures anonymity at all times. 

Users have the option to opt-in or opt-out of participating in research. If you choose in, your anonymous information is added to a pool of shared data. 

This pool can be searched by approved third-party researchers. This will allow them to identify groups that match their research interests. This group is referred to as a sandbox and can only be accessed through a “secure computer environment controlled by LunaDNA”. 

Users must opt-in to services that would enable their data to be shared outside of the platform. However, this is not a required feature of LunaDNA. You can also revoke consent at any time and delete your account. 

If you’ve requested to have your data deleted, it will be removed from any sandboxes within 30 days. By revoking your consent, you are also withdrawing from your ownership and shares in LunaDNA. 

LunaDNA’s full privacy policy can be found on its website.

LunaDNA in the News 

In 2018, LunaDNA raised $4 million, including from key investors, Illumina Ventures and Arch Venture Partners.

LunaDNA president, Dawn Barry, was interviewed on PM360 in 2019. Here, she discusses the motivation behind the company and what users can gain from the experience.  You can also read about LunaDNA’s merger with Genetic Alliance’s Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER), which occurred in the same year.

In 2020, former CEO Bob Kain was named to Fast Company’s Annual List of Most Creative People in Business for 2020.

Other Luna DNA Reviews 

LunaDNA has several reviews on popular social media outlets. The company’s Facebook page has a 5 star rating, although based on 5 reviews only and one of them is spam. Reviewers like that their data is not sold and that they can feel like they are a part of science. The company also has an active Twitter account, which mainly focuses on its partnerships and research success.

Nebula Genomics 

At Nebula Genomics, we believe that you should have complete ownership of your genetic data. Therefore, we develop advanced technologies to ensure secure genomic data sharing, so that only you benefit from sharing your genetic information.

30x Whole Genome Sequencing

Nebula Genomics is also at the forefront of genetic sequencing and offers 30x Whole Genome Sequencing. Users get access to 100% of their DNA sequence. Compare this to only 0.01% sequenced by microarray services such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA. 

Every letter of your DNA sequence is read over 30 times to ensure correct information. The data provided by Nebula is complete and more accurate than conventional methods. Using this type of sequencing is of the highest value to you and the research field. 

Nebula vs. LunaDNA

Nebula and LunaDNA share many common values. We both are committed to putting you at the center of our service. We will provide you with a safe and transparent experience. 

LunaDNA offers shares in its company in exchange for genetic and health information. Conversely, Nebula Genomics offers users cryptocurrency credits for participation in various services. Once these credits accumulate, you can use them to purchase genome sequencing services. 

Other genome upload companies additional services, but we go above and beyond. We provide top-of-the-line genetic testing, detailed health and ancestry reports, and exploration tools. We can cater to those looking for DNA upload and sequencing services.

23andMeAncestryDNALunaDNANebula Genomics
Type of genetic testing providedMicroarray-based genotyping & reportMicroarray-based genotyping & reportNo DNA testing offered30x Whole- Genome Sequencing
Ability to upload raw DNA dataNoNoYes (23andMe, Ancestry, MyHeritage, MyFamilyTree DNA)Yes (23andMe and Ancestry)
Target customerConsumers who are interested in a limited at-home genetic testConsumers who are interested in a limited at-home genetic testConsumers who are interested in contributing to scientific researchConsumers who are interested in advanced reporting and complete DNA testing
Expanded Genetic AnalysisBasic reportBasic reportNo reports availableExpanded health and ancestry reports
Cost$99 or $199$99 – $119Free$0, $99, $299

Other companies

Another alternative to LunaDNA is EncrypGen, a cryptocurrency based DNA data marketplace. Similarly, you can upload DNA and health data. Read about the recent cooperative effort between EncrypGen and Nebula Genomics to promote Nebula’s 30x Whole Genome Sequencing.

Interested in uploading your DNA data to receive reports? We have compiled a comprehensive list of DNA upload sites.

Did you like our LunaDNA review? You can read more reviews on our blog and check out our complete guide to the best DNA test kit and other home tests.

If interested in learning about other sites that allow users to participate in research and contribute to new discoveries, you may want to check out:

  • 23andMe
  • Sano Genetics (dedicated data-sharing platform to connect patients with research projects)

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