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venerdì 16 gennaio 2015
The DNA Vault stores DNA and important information for up to eight members in a family. The founder of the USB said he sees people using the product to reconstitute grapes, dogs and even humans in the future.
A company called Genisyss developed a USB called DNA Vault that can store up to eight samples of DNA for future use.
Founder of the company, Richard Brownell, told Motherboard that the idea behind the product is to store samples of blood so a family can track their genetic code and family medical history.
The DNA could also be collected from a person when they are young and healthy so it could be used later in life for personalized treatments for cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's. Additionally, the blood sample could be used to track genetic coding and even to clone a person.
"I don't see why anyone wouldn't want this," Brownell said.
The blood samples are stored in pads that are composed of proprietary material, which can store DNA with no detectable degradation for at least two decades.
Brownell, who is a retired military aerospace engineer, said he has been testing the storage pads for two decades.
Although the blood is stored in pads inside the thumb drive, there is nothing the actual device transmits between the blood and the computer.
The USB is simply used to store digital information such as medical records and photos so the DNA can be matched to the correct person in the future.
"Who knows, I can see people storing their pets' DNA, I can see vineyards storing the DNA of a wine grape they want to reconstitute in the future, so they can have a vintage grape without waiting for years and years." Brownell said.
The portable green USB made an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week and it made a few impressions. However, the product may be ahead of its time.
The USB may be simple, but the DNA treatments that Brownell mentioned are not.
Cloning has been tried and it has been successful with dogs, but it will be some time before scientists begin to clone humans.
Since long before Dolly the Sheep became the first famous clone, humankind have dreamed of cloning themselves. The ethics of it all have concerned philosophers and scientists for as long as the concept has existed, but the most important question, obviously, is "Would you bang your clone?" Well, would you?
Some enterprising folks have invented some new technology to help future cloners. A USB drive with four chambers allows you to store a drop of blood for you and three of your closest family or friends so that in the future, if cloning becomes a thing, you'll have healthy DNA available. The idea is that you store your DNA now while you're relatively healthy so that you can get a healthy clone -- if you wait decades until human cloning is actually possible, you'll just get an old gross clone thanks to the degradation of your DNA.
Richard Brownwell, the founder of Genissyss which created the thumb drive, told Motherboard:
“Who knows, I can see people storing their pets’ DNA, I can see vineyards storing the DNA of a wine grape they want to reconstitute in the future, so they can have a vintage grape without waiting for years and years."
The "DNA vaults" are on sale from $40 USD but you can get a $119 version with more chambers.