Keeping a dead family member’s DNA instead of ashes is the new funeral ritual

dna home storage man placing urn by candles at funeral
Next time you’re thinking of cremating the remains of a deceased loved one, keep in mind that you now have the option of housing their DNA on your mantelpiece instead.

If the thought of keeping grandma’s unique genetic material (extracted and purified from blood or saliva) in a capsule in your home doesn’t creep you out, then ‘SecuriGene’ is the company for you.

The Canadian biotech firm claims that preserving a dead family member’s DNA is the ideal way to “cherish your loved one.” Additionally, it states that the long-term preservation of a person’s genetic material is more valuable than keeping ashes locked up in an urn because it can be used in genetic testing. Consequently, it can help identify family health risks, along with identity and ancestry testing.

Although DNA preservation is already widely used by law enforcement authorities (CSI being an example) and kept in labs, Securigene has figured out a method of storing a person’s genetic material in the home.

The SecuriGene DNA banking capsule stores a person's genetic blueprint
The SecuriGene DNA banking capsule stores a person’s genetic blueprint

Consumers willing to fork out $498 can expect to receive their loved one’s DNA sample in a stainless steel capsule, reports Fusion. The small, UV-resistant container comes complete with a triple seal, and a built-in humidity regulator, allowing it to be stored at room temperature.

SecuriGene currently has partnerships with over 1,000 funeral homes. The company claims that DNA preservation is rapidly gaining popularity, with one out of every five people offered the method choosing it. In most cases, people simply go with it as another way of mourning the passing of a loved one. Unlike ashes in an urn, however, you are instead given the genetic blueprint of a family member. Inside a container that can fit in your hand will be the everlasting genetic information of an individual, from the color of their hair and eyes to other physical traits. With the rapid advancement of medical science, who knows what that information will one day unlock.

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