Who wants to be immortal? Now that everyone’s raised their hands, let’s take this seriously. From all the talk about cloning and DNA, you’d think it’d be an easy matter to collect a sample from a person to hold for the future when SciFi becomes fact. But the truth of the matter is that storing DNA isn’t easy, at least in real life (even Dexter of the same-named cable show had his problems with contamination). So I turned a critical eye to the DNA Capsule, partly because of what it said it could do and partly in how it went about doing it. But what I also liked was that it combined an all-in-one approach that obviated going to a lab/incurring any additional costs mixed in with display characteristics.
The idea behind the DNA Capsule is simple: store a person’s DNA through a blood sample and create a palm-sized keepsake at the same time.The second part of this means that the container’s inner compartment protects the sample, while the exterior provides a clean and uncluttered view: a hefty wood and metal design featuring a closed metal top. That’s what you see.
The procedure is straightforward enough that it can be done at home — although the company does state that using a lab would be a good choice. But since few will opt for that, DNA Capsule covers the bases by including a pair of surgical gloves, a disinfectant pad and 2 safety Lancets (are used to prick a finger and so draw out blood). So I decided to consign my fate to my descendants by taking the second route and also decided that I didn’t need any help to do it.
The first thing I did was to unscrew the collection container’s top: the knurled surface was hastened along by my pushing the end of a pen against it. I had no need to use the rubber gloves (useful if someone would have helped me), and so washed both hands with soap and water and applied the disinfectant cloth to the pad of my left hand’s index finger. I then removed the protective cap from one of the safety Lancets and quickly pricked my finger tip to draw out a bead blood. I inserted my finger into the collection container that’s inside the DNA Capsule and forced out 3 drops, which hit a bag of anticoagulant material at the bottom. I then rotated the container a few times so as to mix the blood with the material. I then put the container on a corner of the kitchen table (creepy, yeah I know) so that the blood could dry. Meanwhile the Lancet went into the included plastic bag and was disposed of.
I screwed the lid back on the next morning to complete the task, which was to store over 240,000 strands of DNA against a future use (such as the over-1,000 genetic tests available for such things as Emphysema and Liver disease, Alzheimers and Cystic fibrosis). Worth mentioning also is that there’s no need to store in liquid nitrogen either, just ordinary room temperatures which makes this “green.” And thanks to its clean looks and solid construction, the DNA capsule should endure for a long, long time on a shelf or in a cabinet — making it less likely to be tossed into a cardboard box with the old pictures of “some old guy we’re related to who lived a long time ago.”
Bottom line: The DNA Capsule preserves DNA that could prove useful to descendants (gene testing for example), not to mention being a slice of vanity/immortality for the one who did the contributing. $299.00 doesn’t just provide the means for storing the material, but also for displaying it tastefully.
Stored sample remains at home, Multiple testing of sample possible
Might seem creepy to some
Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and journalist specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture.