Thursday, March 10, 2016

New Funeral Tradition: Preserving DNA

   A Canadian biotech company has developed a way to allow grandma and grandpa to live on eternally. This eternality comes in the form of a little silver capsule that is UV proof, triple sealed, and humidity controlled. Within it is a sample of  or grandpas DNA extracted from a sample of hair or blood. Encoded in this sample is everything about the loved one it belonged to, hair color, health issues and many more. This technique of preserving a sample of DNA from a deceased loved one has become a new option in funerary technique thanks to a biotech company named Securigene. Instead of cremation or burial you can now preserve the DNA of your loved one and display it on your mantle, instead of their ashes. This chosen funerary technique is seen as a more personal approach, because DNA holds so much significance and can only be traced back to that individual. It is an actual depiction of who they were. So it tells their story better than any photograph ever could.
   This method is seen to be practical because if later in life you decide to analyze the genes of your family it is important to have all the possible pieces. Also with the growing knowledge of genetics sometime in the future doctors may be able to use family DNA to determine the most effective treatment for an ailment you may have from analyzing your family gene history. There are many things that we may be able to learn from DNA in the future, and we do not know what those things may be as of now, so preserving the DNA of deceased relatives could later be beneficial. However there may also be some undesirable information in the elders genes that one may not want to know about. Or there is the issue that the deceased is not able to provide consent for their DNA to be extracted and preserved. 

    As of now it seems the company is receiving positive feedback on their innovative funerary option. They have partnered with over 1,000 funeral homes to make the DNA preservation option open to people. 1 out of every 5 persons asked said they would choose this method to preserve their loved one. However they have to be willing to pay the $498 fee to have this done. But for this cost you get a silver capsule with the dry-stored DNA of your loved one, along with customary engraving options.
   If given the option, being an individual interested in science, I would say yes to this funerary option. However I would get the consent of the loved one before they pass to have this done so they are aware and can tell me if they do not approve. This is a very innovative and interesting way of preserving life after death. Its the basis of an individuals life, so the want to persevere it is comprehensible.  I would not be opposed to having this done even on one of my pets. Due to my interest in genetics I would like to get a genetic analysis done on my family one day. I think it would be extremely interesting to see and I would like the information to range as far back as possible. 

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