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Below is a sample of the emails you can expect to receive when signed up to darwinsark.

Hi Andrew,

Welcome! Thank you for joining Darwin’s Ark. We''re excited to begin this journey of scientific discovery with you. Together, we’ll be exploring the DNA of companion animals from all over the globe, and expanding our understanding of both animal and human health.


If you haven’t yet done so, please log in to the Darwin’s Ark website, add dogs, and start the surveys for them. The answers to these questions are an enormous part of the science we’re exploring.


At its heart, the Darwin’s Ark project is a study of how genetics shape the heath and behavior of animals and humans. In addition to the survey questions, we’re sequencing thousands of samples of canine DNA to help us discover the roadmap to shared health. Your dog’s information will be a part of this incredible body of knowledge.


While commercial dog DNA tests offer between 1,800 to 200,000 genetic markers, Darwin’s Ark’s technology offers over 4,000,000 markers, offering an exclusive look into your dog’s ancestry. Uniquely, we also offer the option of Trailblazer Level sequencing, where each of the the 2.4 billion bases (A, C, G, T) of your dog’s DNA is sequenced thirty times to ensure exceptionally high data quality.


This is true citizen science, and like most scientists, we’re waiting for funding. It will take quite some time, even years, for grants to be awarded that allow us to pay for DNA Kits for all free participant dogs.

We’ve arranged three options for DNA sequencing through Darwin’s Ark. The free option will always be available, but we do understand that not everyone wants to wait for results. The for-pay options allow us to run kits more quickly.

Exact timing of results will depend on what level plan you’ve chosen, and how many other people have signed up for the same level, as DNA Kits must be run in batches (except for our Trailblazer level, which is run individually, as a full genome sequence).

Keep in mind that we’re a scientific “club” of co-experimenters with you! Your results may come in in stages, with breed reports coming in first, for example, and further ancestry results later in the process.  A good guesstimate of wait for the Explorer paid level time is 90 to 120 days for first results. Free kit level results can take much longer, even more than a year at this point in our funding.


Free Kit Level - No Charge
All participants are entitled to DNA Kits as funding allows, pending grant awards and completion of at least 10 short surveys by participants. Once we’re able to sequence your dog’s sample, we’ll send you a DNA Kit free of charge.  As we work our way through the sequencing of all Free Kit Level submissions, we may run samples that meet immediate research needs before samples that we received before those. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee any time frame for these kits, and results may take years.

Explorer Level - $149
With your donation of $149, we can can send you a DNA Kit immediately. Your dog’s DNA will be sent to our partner lab, which uses a small batch testing process. They will include your dog''s DNA in the next batch of 20 Explorer level samples received, allowing us to return your dog''s DNA results more quickly. We can’t give exact timing, but first results are likely to come in between 90 and 120 days of receipt of the 20 samples needed to sequence the batch.
Trailblazer Level - $1,499
Be the foundation upon which knowledge is built. With your donation of $1,499, your dog will join an elite group of fewer than 1,000 dogs worldwide with a complete DNA sequence, informing scientists globally in the advancement and study of canine and human health.
Trailblazer level contributors’ samples will be sent to the Broad Institute lab for immediate sequencing. Your dog''s  full genome will be sequenced at “30x coverage,” which means each of the 2.4 billion bases (A, C, G, T) is sequenced thirty times to ensure accuracy.

You’ll be notified of your dog''s DNA results, and you’ll receive a personalized certificate of scientific contribution with your dog’s ancestry results from the Darwin’s Ark scientists at U.Mass Medical School, and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.


All participants have full access to their dog’s sequence, available for download at any time. Darwin’s Ark does not offer predictive health results. As we gain more and more genetic material and health histories of our participant dogs, we’ll be able to provide this kind of information with confidence.

We feel strongly that only well-validated science be included in our reports to dog owners. We also feel strongly that health tests that are offered for dogs should meet the same quality standards as those required in human medicine. To date, they do not meet those standards.

We are super excited to have 26,806 dogs on the Ark as of today! Together, we can collect the critical data needed to secure a better future for both our animals and ourselves.

If you have any questions, let us know at

The Darwin’s Ark Team

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