Having a sample of your DNA will allow future generations to make more informed decisions concerning health related issues that may affect their lives.
WHY WOULD I WANT TO STORE MY LOVED ONE’S DNA?
Immortalising a loved one DNA Banking allows the genetics of your loved ones to live on forever – even after death. Ashes or other keepsakes have no intrinsic value but the DNA will preserve that person’s essence of who they were in life. We prepare the sample to last indefinitely, and return it to you inside a stylish keepsake or a secure vial.
Inherited Medical Information Genetic decoding is leading to a tsunami of information for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of hundreds of diseases. Because DNA sequences are passed on with very little variation from one generation to the next, a DNA test of a 95 year old great-grandmother is of immediate and direct relevance to the health of her six-month-old great-grandson. DNA Banking is an important step towards preserving that history and improving the health of future generations. A family medical history helps document familial patterns which may impact your health, such as trends towards specific types of cancer, early heart disease, or even something simple such as skin conditions. Compiling a family medical history can help doctors spot these family patterns and use the information to assist with the following:
- Diagnosing a medical condition
- Determining whether you may benefit from preventive measures to lower your risk of a specific disease
- Deciding what medical tests to run /medications/medication dosage
- Identifying other members of your family who are at risk of developing certain diseases
- Calculating your risk of certain diseases
- Calculating your risk of passing certain conditions to your children
- Selecting effective therapies (gene therapy rapidly becoming a viable option)
- Measuring mutation rates over generations (which can now predict health problems before they happen)
Ancestry Using specific DNA markers can also trace ancestry thousands of years back. More recently, some DNA markers have been used to link persons to individuals as far back as 5000 years ago (Breakthrough DNA study links B.C. woman, 5,500-year-old “grandmother” By Randy Boswell, Postmedia News July 5, 2013). This technology is in its infancy as most people don’t realize that DNA analysis was only invented in 1986 with a technique called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction). There are also specific DNA types that have interesting applications for ancestry and heritage research including STR (short tandem repeats) mtDNA, Y DNA and some rare DNA mutations. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is contained in the cytoplasm of the cell, rather than the nucleus. This type of DNA is passed by a mother to both male and female offspring without any mixing, so your mtDNA is the same as your mother’s mtDNA, which is the same as her mother’s mtDNA. mtDNA changes very slowly so it cannot determine close relationships as well as it can determine general relatedness. If two people have an exact match in their mtDNA, then there is a very good chance they share a common maternal ancestor, but it is hard to determine if this is a recent ancestor or one who lived hundreds of years ago. It is important to keep in mind with this test that a male’s mtDNA comes only from his mother and is not passed on to his offspring.
Example: The DNA tests that identified the bodies of the Romanovs, the Russian imperial family, utilized mtDNA from a sample provided by Prince Philip, who shares the same maternal line from Queen Victoria. Y chromosomal DNA – More recently, the Y chromosome in the nuclear DNA is being used to establish family ties. The Y chromosomal DNA test (usually referred to as Y DNA or Y-Line DNA) is only available for males, since the Y chromosome is only passed down the male line from father to son. Tiny chemical markers on the Y chromosome create a distinctive pattern, known as a haplotype that distinguishes one male lineage from another. Shared markers can indicate relatedness between two men, though not the exact degree of the relationship. Y chromosome testing is most often used by individuals with the same last name to learn if they share a common ancestor.
Example: The DNA tests supporting the probability that Thomas Jefferson fathered the last child of Sally Hemming’s were based on Y-chromosome DNA samples from male descendants of Thomas Jefferson’s paternal uncle, since there were no surviving male descendants from Jefferson’s marriage. Markers on both mtDNA and Y chromosome tests can also be used to determine an individual’s haplogroup, a grouping of individuals with the same genetic characteristics. This test may provide you with interesting information about the deep ancestral lineage of your paternal and/or maternal lines As more ancestral markers are identified, DNA ancestry testing will become much more powerful than it is today. By keeping a record of your family’s DNA, you are opening new doors and creating exciting new opportunities that were never available before.
Legacy Elevate the tradition of creating a family tree by allowing participants to save a sample of their DNA. Your family’s DNA will be safely preserved for generations to come. By starting this process you will become the patriarch or matriarch of your genetic linage with the information beginning with you. Thousands of years from now your sample will be the starting point for your family tree.
DNA, WHAT IS IT, WHY IT’S IMPORTANT AND WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT?
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the hereditary material in humans and all other organisms. Nearly every cell in a person’s body has the same DNA. Most DNA is located in the cell nucleus (where it is called nuclear DNA), but a small amount of DNA can also be found in the mitochondria (where it is called mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA). The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people. The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences. In such a way everyone’s story is written differently.
DO YOU DEAL DIRECTLY WITH THE PUBLIC?
No, we use professional funeral or death care providers because of their high standards, codes of practice policies and procedures that include; privacy and confidentiality assurances and because of the sensitive nature of the product.
WHY IS THIS SERVICE DELIVERED THROUGH FUNERAL HOMES AND PALLIATIVE CARE ORGANISATIONS?
Genomics is a rapidly advancing area of healthcare based on the information contained in personal and familial DNA. DNA sequences are passed with very little variation from one generation to the next, therefore preserving DNA and having access to your family’s genetic history is increasingly being used by the medical profession to track, diagnose and prevent a vast number of diseases. It is also used to research family genealogy. Funeral and palliative care partners are the last chance to save the invaluable information that someone’s DNA holds.
HOW IS THE SAMPLE COLLECTED?
We take a simple cheek swab, with hair, a number of hair strands are collected from the root.
HOW LONG WILL THE DNA REMAIN VIABLE FOR FUTURE TESTING? WILL IT EVENTUALLY DEGRADE?
When stored in our DNA sterile vial in velvet box under room temperature, away from direct exposure to sunlight, the DNA will last indefinitely. Our researched and proprietary methods of halting the degradation process allows for room temperature storage at home indefinitely.
CAN DNA BE EXTRACTED FROM INFUSED JEWELLERY OR CRYSTAL PRODUCTS?
No, once DNA has been infused into any of our Infusion Collection products it cannot be extracted from the piece. All of our Infusion Collection products include a home storage DNA sterile vial.
HOW DO I RESEARCH MY DNA SAMPLE IN THE FUTURE?
We do not provide any analysis of DNA, analysis of your loved one’s DNA for medical purposes is agreed with your doctor, there are a plethora of online organisations that test genealogy.
WHO HAS ACCESS TO THE DNA?
DNA is returned by the funeral director to the family in a box containing a sealed sterile vial, we also provide a certificate of authenticity. We adhere to strict confidentiality and codes of conduct and do not store, analyse, test or share DNA information with any outside agencies for any reason.
HOW MANY TESTS CAN BE UNDERTAKEN ON MY VIAL OF DNA?
Due to the advanced processes of CG Labs, DNA extraction from cheek swabs should yield high quantity DNA yields and allow multiple genetic testing per vial (50+ tests) including WGS (whole genome sequencing). However, due to inherent sample quality and quantity variation within DNA samples, not all samples can be used for every test. Sample yields will be displayed on certificate issued to families upon return of DNA sample.
MY FUNERAL HOME DOES NOT OFFER THIS SERVICE. WHAT DO I DO?
Although we do not offer this service to the public, we can work directly with your funeral director. Please ask your funeral provider to contact us by telephone or e-mail.
DO I NEED TO DECIDE IMMEDIATELY?
Yes, your funeral director must take DNA samples before cremation or burial. If you decide after cremation or burial that you do not want to proceed having DNA processing, your funeral director will destroy the sample taken after 10 days.
WHY IS YOUR LABORATORY BASED IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, CANADA?
Thunder Bay was not randomly chosen for this service. It is located 650 feet above sea level on the Canadian Shield which is solid rock. There are no natural disasters such as hurricanes, massive flooding or earthquakes. There is cheap reliable power from multiple sources and a well-built infrastructure. Canada has some of the strictest privacy laws about DNA in the world. There is an adequate supply of skilled workers from the biotechnology program of Lakehead University. The technology cluster located here including the Cancer research facility, University and three other DNA innovation companies allow us to continue collaborative research to improve our company.
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