DNA is incredibly complex, with genetic information being passed down from generation to generation. Therefore, having access to a family’s DNA history allows doctors to better understand genetic diseases in both families and individuals. Only by tracking, analysing and understanding DNA through the generations can many genetic diseases that affect individual family members be properly understood.
In practice, this means your DNA is directly relevant to the health of your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews etc. Put simply, preserving your DNA could be lifesaving.
“I can see a future where genetics is going to come into every bit of medicine from cardiology to oncology to infectious diseases.”
Prof Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust health foundation in Cambridge
“The increasing availability of DNA based technologies, and the rapidly falling price and increasing precision of sequencing, is leading to a revolution in medical care. This is generally referred at as Personalised Medicine and in reality means using DNA-based data to try and predict responses to therapy to allow more precise tailoring of therapy options. In the future, DNA data will be key to understanding disease in general and individual variations both in disease outcomes and response to treatment. Having access to one’s DNA heritage would greatly aid the understanding of many diseases such as prostate cancer, where it is clear that inherited risk is complex and multifactorial. For families with rare diseases, again access to stored familial DNA may well help care in the future, even if the precise nature of the inherited problem is not currently fully understood.”
Prof Nicholas James, Director of the Cancer Research Unit at The University of Warwick & Professor of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, October 2014.