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Top 5 Reasons to Save Your Grandmother’s DNA

1. You got those big blue eyes from your grandmother, but chances are you inherited less desirable genes as well. We inherit our DNA from our parents, who inherited it from their parents. Since we all possess genes that can cause or contribute to disease, knowing one’s DNA and family medical history can be a great resource for someone who learns they have a genetic disorder.

2. Full genome sequencing is right around the corner! The X-prize quest for the $1000 genome will lead to efficient and affordable whole-genome sequencing. As commercial companies crop up and compete for customer’s business, leading to even lower prices.

3. Your grandmother’s DNA contains clues to her ancestry. X-chromosome, mtDNA, and autosomal genealogy tests contain clues to a person’s ancestry, both recent and ancient.

4. Even if you aren’t interested in this whole genetic genealogy craze, somebody you know will be! Genealogy is one of the most popular hobbies in America, and the use of DNA to augment traditional genealogical research is growing faster than ever. Chances are that someone you know will someday be interested in your grandmother’s DNA!

5. All the undiscovered possibilities. No one knows what uses will be discovered for DNA in the future. Save that DNA just in case!

Disclaimer: Some people are very uncomfortable with the thought of gathering and storing a loved one’s DNA, and those beliefs should be honored and respected. It is ALWAYS best to obtain your grandmother’s permission before you gather her DNA. So don’t delay, call her now!

This is a contribution to Problogger’s Top 5 Project.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

47 Comments

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  6. Bravo Blaine! Very nice post. If I don’t win the ProBlogger’s Writing Project I hope you do ;-)

  7. Hi Blaine,

    I agree with Jasia. This is a great post!

    I’m not sure where I stand on somebody preserving my DNA. I’m kind-of flattered, but also nervous. Maybe I’m too suspicious of DNA banks, etc.

  8. Thank you Jasia and Andrew! This is a really interesting and delicate issue. DNA is our most fundamental building block, and yet we’re so much more than our genomic sequence. How much access should another person have to my DNA, either with or without my permission?

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