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Asia’s first DNA bank in Lucknow

Four drops of blood may one day save your life. All you have to do is give four drops of blood and become a member of the Human DNA Bank launched in Lucknow, reports Deep Saxena. It will help in...
By HT Correspondent | None, Lucknow
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2008 01:05 AM IST

Four drops of blood may one day save your life. All you have to do is give four drops of blood and become a member of the Human DNA Bank launched in Lucknow. Asia’s only and the world's second, this bank has been established by Dr Saeed Ahmad, director of IQRA Biotech Services under a public private partnership with Biotech Park, Lucknow.

The bank will require exhaustive details about a person, including fingerprints and four drops of blood. This information will be stored for 50 years.

The US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation was so far the only agency that could boast of a DNA bank.

Talking to Hindustan Times recently, Dr Ahmad also demonstrated the DNA Identification System (DIS), one of the major functions of the DNA Bank.

Once you become a member of this bank, you will get a microchip-based DNA card containing vital information about you. With the help of this card, all information about a person will be accessible at the click of a mouse. “The card will have general information, anthropological and medical information, biometrics (DNA and fingerprint) details about a person. Some very rare, personal and confidential information will be stored in the card which will be available through a smart card reader or finger impression through the reader or by DNA. The information will also be uploaded on the bank’s website www.dnabankindia.com,” said Dr Ahmed.

Highlighting its features, CEO of Biotech Park Dr P.K. Seth said, “DNA identification system can enable law enforcement agencies to work out murders. This system will also be helpful in hospitals and for police verification. It will also benefit the police in restoring a lost child to his parents and in cases of road and train accidents, plane crashes, natural disasters and terror attacks, DIS can provide crucial information about victims which will help in identifying them."

On how these services will reach the common man, Dr Ahmad said, “Our team will contact people to make them members of the DNA Bank. An individual will have to shell out Rs 650 and a student below Class X will have to pay Rs 500. We are ready to provide free technical services to police departments. The identification machines can be installed at important places such as airports, hospitals and railway stations at a cost borne by them and software and services provided by us."

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