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Personalised DNA gifts for Christmas?

2 December 2002
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 186

A UK firm has launched a new range of jewellery, rugs and champagne glasses that incorporate patterns based on the recipient's unique DNA fingerprint, reports New Scientist magazine. The unusual personalised gifts are available through Complement Genomics in Sunderland, a company that normally collects DNA samples for pharmaceutical companies and paternity testing. 'It's a one-off that can never be repeated' said Chief Executive Neil Sullivan of the 'DesigNAgifts'.

To obtain a personal DNA pattern, a swab of cells is first taken from the inside of the recipient's mouth. The firm then uses DNA fingerprinting techniques to produce a unique DNA profile, similar to that used for forensic or paternity tests. The pattern is then incorporated into the chosen gift - for example, as alternating gemstones and silver in a necklace.

Sullivan, who worked with ten local artists to produce the gifts, stresses that the company does not keep the genetic information in a database, and destroys it after three months. The patterns are apparently not detailed enough to be used for paternity testing, and are not based on regions of DNA that could reveal any significant information.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
DNA Jewelery -  the Ultimate Personalized gift
Yahoo Daily News |  27 November 2002
DNA patterns produce ultimate personalised gift
New Scientist |  28 November 2002
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