‘DNA Storage’ is also known as ‘DNA Banking’, or as a ‘Vault’ service for DNA.
There are several reasons why you might want to store a person’s DNA:
- In case that person’s family wanted to research their genetic ancestry after their death.
- If that person has a high risk job and wants to take measures to help identify them in the event of an accident.
- In case someone leaving an inheritance suspects a claim may be disputed after their death, a simple DNA comparison can determine a biological relationship with the claimant.
Providers offer two different ways of storing DNA. The basic version is where you’re sent a kit, take a cheek swab sample and store it at home. The more expensive version is where you’re sent a kit, take a cheek swab sample and return it to the provider – they’ll then preserve the DNA and send it back to you in a way that virtually lasts forever.
Bear in mind that the providers offering a preservation service won’t be analysing the sample, they’re simply helping you to store the DNA.
How long does the DNA sample last?
Samples which haven’t been returned to the provider for preservation will last for 11 to 15 years. For samples which have been preserved by the provider, they’ll virtually last forever, even when kept at room temperature.
’Peace of mind’ or ‘legal’ test?
If you need to store DNA for ‘legal’ proceedings, it’s the legal tests that are court admissible. The science behind the tests is exactly the same – the difference is that for court admissible tests, somebody official needs to watch them being taken so the court is assured that the samples came from the right people. Court admissible tests also require that the samples be handled securely all the way to the lab.
Watch out for VAT and hefty postage being added at the checkout. Some providers with offices in the UK will use labs overseas, so if having your samples preserved by labs in the UK is important to you (and the provider’s website isn’t clear) check out our listings for these details.