What would you pay to see your DNA?

The other day ideeli was running a special on “DNA art” from DNA 11.

Apparently people are willing to spend a good chunk of money to see their DNA run on a gel, imaged, blown up, and hung on the wall.

What a thoughtful anniversary present to hang over the marital bed- his and her's DNA portraits! Source: http://www.dna11.com/

The only DNA gel pictures I ever hung up where the “Hall of Shame” type where something went horribly, comically wrong.  And, I only hung those above my bench in lab as a grim reminder of time wasted, never on my living room wall.

What strikes me as quite funny is that as a TA for MOL101 back in grad school, we actually had students collect buccal cells (cheek cells), run a PCR reaction, do restriction enzyme digest on the product, and run it all on gels (we also had it sequenced).  The goal was to determine if they were PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) tasters.  They ran gels and looked at their DNA digested by the restriction enzymes as well as the DNA we had sequenced from their PCR reactions, and correlated it with whether or not they could taste PTC.  [For more info on PTC tasting, see here.  For a description of the lab, see here.]  Other than the university charging students tens of thousands of dollars to matriculate, getting the picture of the DNA on the gel was ‘free.’

I could see the appeal of 23 and Me, where you actually get some data, bona fide genetic information, and an interface that lets you learn about it, but $199 for just a picture?  I’ll swab my own cheek, thankyouverymuch.

Would you pay for this type thing?  Should I start a side business?

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1 Comment

Filed under Scientist, steals and deals

One response to “What would you pay to see your DNA?

  1. mkwewer

    Considering the fact that I have a Robertsonian Translocation of 13/14, probably not….Thanks for the laugh though….

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