Three cool things you can do with your DNA

Now that the holidays are upon us, what do you get for the person who has everything?

Well, you give them the gift of what they love the most - themselves!

image The field of “personal genetics” is seeing a gigantic explosion. For a price, you can find out who your ancestors were and what genetic afflictions you might have a predisposition for. And if that does not ring in the holiday cheer, you can (for a small amount of money) pass on your legacy by saving your genetic material for future generations!

Genetic archiving: DNA Direct $175

You can send out a simple cheek swab along with a small payment of $175 to DNA direct, a Genetic archiving company, which will conveniently “shrink wrap” your DNA is a synthetic medium and send it back to you “in lab-quality tubes and UV-resistant packaging for safe, stable storage”. And why would you want to do anything as creepy as storing your DNA?
According to DNA Direct:

There are a number of reasons people from all walks of life are choosing to store their DNA. Storing DNA is a good way to prepare for the future when genetic testing becomes more affordable, new genes are discovered, and genetic technologies continue to advance and bring new medical insight.

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Stored DNA can be used to:
* Understand your family’s medical history
* Understand your inherited physical characteristics
* Understand your family tree

and, of course, spend some money and support the economy!

Genetic blueprint: 23andme $1000

If ever there was a company that had success coded into its genetics, it is the hot startup 23andme. Co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google’s founder Sergey Brin, and armed with a $3.9 million cash infusion from Google, the company is bringing Genetic blueprinting within the reach of the average Joe.

If you have ever lain awake wondering if you are going to inherit your Mom’s arthritis or your Dad’s heart problems, you might find it easier to get up and write a check for $1000 and send it off to 23andme along with your DNA, to find out all about your genetic future.

Disease risk: Navigenics $2500

This Silicon Valley company has racked up an impressive $25 million investment into its personal genomics service that is expected to scan your DNA and compare them to reference DNA, and correlate the genetic profile to the risk for specific diseases.

The test is not currently available to the public, but is expected to be released in 2008.

Technorati Tags: personal genetics, genetics, genome, dna direct, 23andme, navigenics


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