The above portrait is of my great uncle Leonard Smith, with my grandmother, Doris Smith of Norwich. Taken circa 1904.
Preserving our genetic heritage
I've ordered a genetic profiling kit to test my mother. I want the results 1) for phasing with my own results, in order to better understand where different segments on my chromosomes originate from - from which parent. 2) because I feel that my mother has a particularly rich, documented, and very localised Norfolk ancestry. Finally 3) because I feel almost duty bound to do so, while I can. I've lost my father. My mother will not always be here, as neither will I. I wont always have the chance to do this. By examining Mum's SNPs, I'll be able to find out exactly what SNPs my late father gave me. I think that I've seen programs that try to rebuild the DNA of a missing parent, by combining the results of their children or / and other relatives.
This has lead me to ponder over the future. Will we want to preserve the genetic scans of our parents and grandparents? Will the desire to capture photographic images of our elders, then to preserve them long after they've gone, transform itself into a desire to preserve genetic profiles? Will we value the raw data of their SNPs? Will great granny's genome be handed down in the form of binary data from chip to chip? Will families pride themselves on the ownership of a SNP scan data from a great great grandparent?