5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA

5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted May 7, 2007 in DNA Fun, DNA Products, DNA Testing

top-5Genetic technology isn’t quite advanced enough to predict your future, but there’s already plenty of fun you can have with your DNA. Here are five cool things you can do with your DNA.

  1. Extract your own DNA.

    All you need is 15 minutes, salt, liquid soap, water, rubbing alcohol, and some glass and plastic cups. More details from biology.about.com: How to Extract DNA From Human Cheek Cells.

  2. Save it for future reference in case of missing persons, abduction, or identification in the event of a tragedy.

    The City of San Bruno has step-by-step instructions for how to collect and save your children’s DNA in your own home (it would also be a good idea to do the same for other members of the family). A number of companies, such as DNA LifePrint, also sell DNA collection kits. And, companies like DNA Analysis have fee-for-service DNA storage.

  3. Preserve your DNA in jewelry form.

    The Perpetua Life Jewel Pendant is composed of your DNA embedded in acrylic and can be made in a variety of colors. There’s also a Gold & Crystal Life Jewel Heart available. They market it for preserving “your animal companion’s DNA,” but nothing stops you from preserving DNA from yourself or your lover(s) and children.

  4. Convert your DNA into a DNA art print.

    I’ve already mentioned the brilliantly colorful DNA 11 DNA Portraits before but they’re worth mentioning again. Although, it might give this former lab jockey a few flashbacks.

  5. Get your DNA tested.

    Many many companies now offer DNA testing. Some are held to high standards while others are more suitable for recreational purposes. You can get your DNA tested for disease susceptibility genes, gene variants studied by people interested in nutritional genetics, ancestry, and genealogy.

Bonus idea: Send your DNA into the future by having children.

What other cool stuff have you done with your DNA?

This post was written as part of the ProBlogger Group Writing Project – Top 5.

Note: I have no financial affiliations with any of the companies named in this list.

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108 Comments

Comment by Barry Starr Subscribed to comments via email

A friend of mine has a business where he will sequence your MC1R gene for you. Not only do you get 2000 base pairs of your DNA sequenced for 100 dollars, but you also can figure out if you are a carrier for red hair.

I had a lot of fun with this. My son is a redhead and my wife and I are not. We had the whole family done and found out we are carriers, my older son is a carrier, my daughter isn’t and, of course, my red haired son is a redhead. It was a blast seeing this stuff actually pan out in practice. See http://www.thetech.org/genetics/ask.php?id=173 for the details of my family’s MC1R sequence.

 

Barry: Very cool! Then you can make genome music by plugging those base pairs into Gene2Music. :D

 
Comment by Barry Starr Subscribed to comments via email

Ooh, I’ll have to try that!

 

[...] Hsien a visit, and let her know I sent you.  And be sure to check out 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA. A Hearty Life, DNA, Eye on DNA, Genetics, Genetics and Health, health, Hsien, Hsien Hsien Lei, [...]

 
Comment by Mark Evans

Just added EyeOnDNA to my Google Reader. First DNA blog ever to get on it! Now, I’m off to extract my own DNA.

cheers, Mark

 

Mark: Thank you thank you! But now I gotta wonder how come you never read Genetics and Health? :/

Totally joking…. :P

 

[...] 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA by Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD [...]

 

Very interesting things. And I thought DNA was only science.

 
Comment by OHSucker

Many thanks to the ProBlogger Group Project for leading me to you! I would have never thought to make jewelry out of my DNA. Wow…and they have purple. LOL

 

Parapsychology: “Only science” – And that’s all we need. ;)

OHSucker: If you get one, take a pic of someone wearing it and I’ll feature you! hehe

 
Comment by Karlo Licudine

A nice read!

Lol! I never thought that you could actually do those things to your DNA.

Sending your DNA to the future? Lol.

Thanks for your post.

If you have time, why don’t you drop by my post:
http://mobileko.blogspot.com/2007/05/snatch-top-5-tips-on-how-to-be.html

It’s also an entry for the problogger top 5- group writing project. ^^ Goodluck to us all!

 

Karlo: I’m glad you appreciated my weird sense of humor!

 
Comment by Ali

Cool post! One day the world be functioning in a way where everyone’s DNA will be automatically stored, like that movie Gattaca.

Good luck in the group blogger project, check my post on my blog as well.

 

Ali: Thanks! Gattaca is one creepy movie. I hope it doesn’t come to that! ;)

 
Comment by Yoav

Realy cool headline! I couldn’t resist the temptation. Had to come by and read the article

Thank you! It was a lot of fun writing this post. I thought of another weird thing we do with our DNA when I saw your comment -

We eat it! Saliva contains DNA…. ;)

 
 
Comment by Karlo Licudine

Here is my reply on your comment.

@hsien lei, thanks for the comment. You think your cell phone is safe? Remember, as long as the cell phone snatcher hungers, no one is safe. hehe.

@Ali and Hsien lei, hey, what’s Gattaca? It seems like it is the first time i’ve heard of that movie. Hollywood?

What?! You’ve never seen Gattaca? It’s the movie’s 10th anniversary and tells the story of a future in which people are assigned to different life trajectories based on their DNA.

 
 
 
Comment by Sarakastic

Ok so I knew DNA was cool, but I had no idea how pretty it was, I definitely need dna art.

Now, you’re not just being sarcastic, are you? ;) DNA and biochemistry are actually beautiful when visualized. Makes for great interior decorating!

 
 
Comment by Daniel

If seen Gattaca just a few days ago. It’s something between a great movie and falling asleep. But your DNA tips will definitely prepare us for our Gattaca-Future.

Daniel! I loved your post about color blindness. Was just about to leave a comment.

 
 

[...] 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA by Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD [...]

 
Comment by Christina Subscribed to comments via email

What I want to know is how to clone my dog. Now I can get his cheek DNA, whats the next step? :D

Too bad for you Genetics Savings & Clone has shut down. :( Want to go into business together? hahaa Too bad I’m not much of an animal lover.

Comment by Christina Subscribed to comments via email

Yes it is too bad – both about the GSC closing and you not being an animal lover. I can change you – clone my dog – hes the best. dog. ever. I promise you will love him. :D

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 

[...] 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA by Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD [...]

 
 
Comment by Paula

This is really cool! I got here through ProBlogger. Best luck
Paula

 
 

[...] This post is part of the top 5 group writing project. If you have a blog, feel free to participate.  If you’d like to read more top 5’s, here’s yesterdays submissions. Hsien has a good one about 5 cool things you can do with your DNA. [...]

 

[...] 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA by Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD [...]

 
Comment by Ashish Mohta

I would say, get yourself Cloned lol…Pretty innovative ideas.

Ahh, yes. Cloning hasn’t quite succeeded it but when it does, you can bet I’ll tell you guys all about it! Or maybe my clone will. ;)

 
 

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[...] 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA, by Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD. How compelling is that title? For the used-to-be-a-science-teacher types out there (ahem), this is a good one. [...]

 
Comment by At Home Mom

I LOVE this post! Things I never thought I´d consider doing with my DNA, actually, I never thought much about my DNA, period. lol. As for Gattaca, that is a very interesting/creepy movie. :D

You’ve never considered your DNA in making decisions in your life? :shock: Please come back again and see how DNA will “change your life.” hehe Thank you for the kind comment.

 
 

Man…DNA jewelry…who’d-a thunk it? I wonder where this will go in the future? I mean, when I got my first home computer, I spent hours agonizing over whether I should get the 4MB memory, or if I ever would really use 8 – and that was the most powerful system available for home use!

So, who wants to take a stab at what we’ll be doing with our DNA in 25 years??

Julie

LOL, Julie. That’s a good comparison. In 25 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if we all had our genome sequenced and stored on a portable storage device like a thumb drive of sorts. You’d be asked to plug it in at every doctor’s visit or maybe at the pharmacist to make sure your genes didn’t predispose you to anything, adverse drug interactions and the like. Hmmm. This would make a fun post! Let me see if I can elaborate on it sometime. :)

 
 
Comment by JoLynn

Hmmm, very interesting. I’d never thought of doing anything at all with my DNA before. Very original entry into the Problogger group writing project! Good luck on Friday! :)

All the best,

JoLynn

Thanks, JoLynn. So which of these ideas are you going to try first? Take a pic or share your story and I’ll feature you!

 
 

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[...] 5 Cool Things You Can Do With Your DNA by Hsien-Hsien Lei, PhD [...]

 
Comment by Sharon Sarmiento

This is hilarious. I’m no science person, but even I found this interesting (and funny) :-) .

Sharon, No science person? Say it isn’t so! Come back and I’ll make you into a scientist and I guarantee you’ll like it. :)

 
 
Comment by Eric

Hey, I got here from the Problogger contest. I think your post is great! Perhaps you could follow up with a Top 5 Not Recommended Things to do with your DNA, like: provoke mutations, date someone with a fatal mutation…

Thanks, Eric! Your Top 5 Not Recommended is a great idea. Let me ponder that. :)

 
 

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Comment by JoLynn Braley

“Thanks, JoLynn. So which of these ideas are you going to try first? Take a pic or share your story and I’ll feature you!”

Hmmm, I will have to think about this. I blog about health/nutrition and weight loss with a focus on the mind/body connection and if I can relate doing something with my DNA to my topic, then I’m in! I’ll have to do some research on this, as well as brainstorm some creative ideas.

I’m glad I found your blog, I’ll be back to find some more health related info.

Thanks for the suggestion Hsien-Hsien and good luck in Friday’s drawing with Problogger!

JoLynn

JoLynn, Good luck to you too! Although the reward is really meeting fun people who’ve participated in the Problogger project. Let me know if you write something up about DNA. :)

 
 
Comment by Tom O'Leary

Hi
That was a really cool top 5

Science doesn’t normally excite me like that. I really like the way you write.

Thanks
Tom

Thanks, Tom! If you like goofy and crazy science, then Eye on DNA is the place to be. :D

 
 

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Comment by JoLynn Braley

“Although the reward is really meeting fun people who’ve participated in the Problogger project.”

You’re exactly right, I would definitely do this again. I need to get over to problogger to check today’s new subs….there are so many already, but I sure have found some new and interesting blogs! :)

JoLynn

 

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Comment by Dan Chase

I *am* a science guy… though rusty! Thanks for getting me thinking about it again. Great top 5!

Stop by and check out my Top 5 if you like…

Thanks! But don’t leave us hanging. What kind of science guy are you??

 
 
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Comment by Chimera Subscribed to comments via email

wow, this takes narcissism to different levels – imagine wearing ur DNA pendant :)

have never heard of this before esp. the life jewel pendant is so cool – thanks for this , now I know what to gift my loved one for his b’day :)

The DNA pendants almost rival the vials of blood Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton wore. Almost…. ;)

 
 

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Comment by emma Subscribed to comments via email

this is all cool but weird i am leaving

 

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This is a great post! I need to subscribe so I can keep up. Thanks for sharring

 
Comment by Jane Altemen

I’m so glad I landed here!

My Grade 8 students are going to love this, and the clever title will become the main question that guides our exploration of genetics: How will DNA change your life?

My thanks to you from Hanoi, Vietnam.

 

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