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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
DNA 'will' to settle paternity rows
DNA strand
Strict regulations covering DNA storage are in force
What is thought to be the world's first DNA 'will' is being developed on Wearside.

A Sunderland genetics firm is about to offer the unique service as a way of settling potentially costly paternity suits.

Complement Genomics says its service - willcheck - could revolutionise inheritance disputes.

The internet-based paternity test firm already offers so-called dadcheck kits to help people determine the parentage of children.

Louise Allcroft of Complement Genomics
Louise Allcroft: We can settle inheritance disputes

Louise Allcroft, chief operating officer at Complement Genomics, said: "This is the first of its kind.

"It's a simple process and under the right type of conditions we can keep the DNA for up to five years.

"A solicitor recommends reviewing a will every three to five years, so that's a perfect time to submit another sample.

"We are offering people the chance, to store their DNA so that even after death, a DNA profile can be obtained and compared with the profiles of family or other claimants to an estate.

"We will be able to create a family DNA archive, which could help people predict the likelihood of something like breast or ovarian cancer in a family.

"Not only can the DNA be used for inheritance disputes but, with consent of the donor, you will be able to interrogate the sample for genetic disorders."

The DNA is collected by the company through sample kits and a consent form.

A cell sample, which is taken by rubbing a soft brush around the inside of the mouth, is then stored in the lab on a special piece of paper.

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26 Aug 02 | N Ireland
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