Does your funeral home offer DNA Banking? A funeral home that offers DNA Banking will perform DNA collection services and offer DNA products to the families they serve. DNA services can be for living as well as deceased family members.

DNA is a human genetic record that provides medical and genealogical information, which has proven invaluable for a myriad of reasons. DNA can be used to:

• Diagnose medical conditions

• Calculate inherited risks for young children

• Determine medical tests and medicinal dosage

• Select therapeutic agents (including gene therapy)

• Determine disease risk and preventative measures

• Measure generational mutation rates to track disorders.

Likewise, DNA can play an important role in genealogy to:

• Learn more about family ancestors

• Examine biological and geographical relationships between two individuals

• Find relatives of adoptees (and for those who relinquished custody of children)

• Provide options for halted traditional genealogical research

• Learn from which relative(s) certain traits were inherited

• Establish citizenship requirements

DNA Banking services is done through DNA Memorial. DNA Memorial is a division of CG Labs, a DNA services company that has developed a proprietary method of extracting DNA from a non-invasive cheek swab or hair sample and binding the DNA to a substance for indefinite room temperature storage (banking). DNA Memorial can return any DNA samples to the family members or samples can be stored by DNA Memorial.

The cremation process is irreversible and destroys all medical and genealogical DNA. In addition, if a family chooses burial and determines at a later date that DNA is needed, disinterment can be costly financially, legally and most of all emotionally.

DNA that is stored, can be kept forever and analyzed over and over again as the mysteries of human genes continue to be uncovered. Also, this service can be utilized by those who are still living. The process is non-invasive and very simple. It is as easy as a cotton swab wipe inside the mouth or the collection of a few hair strands with follicles.

One example of the type of funeral home client that can benefit from the new service is Etna PA resident Andrew Weckman, whose father died recently. Mr. Weckman said, “I am grateful that the funeral director offered reasonably priced DNA banking to our family. My Dad was adopted and did not know his birth parents. Dad’s saved DNA may be helpful to our family someday when my wife and I start our own family. It made sense to us to save his DNA while we could. Taking the time to have this done now could help us learn if we have inherited any disease-causing genes, since we don’t have a comprehensive family medical history we can rely on.”

Ask if your funeral home is offering families an opportunity to save their deceased loved one’s DNA, which could have an impact for generations to come.