WHAT IS DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (more commonly known as DNA), is the genetic code contained within each cell of your body that makes you uniquely you. But, it’s also far more than you alone. It’s the history of the world, arriving now, as you. Woven into your DNA are years, centuries, millenniums, of change. You share more than 99% of your genetic inheritance with every other human being on earth. So, how is DNA really you? Because in that less-than-one-percent of DNA that’s truly unique are thousands of traits—talents, tendencies, behaviors, physical attributes—that make you who you are. From hair color, eye color, and skin tone, to musical talent, athletic ability, and temperament. Not only does DNA explain who you are now, but it also showcases where you came from. From the first settlers in the New World to legendary innovators in Europe, Asia, Africa, and beyond, you’re here because your ancestors adapted to the world around them and stayed alive long enough to ensure that one day, far beyond their imagining, you would be born. You come from a long line of survivors. In a very real way, your DNA contains them all. This is why the most meaningful use of DNA imaging may be the engraving of it on a pair of Wedding Rings, as the branches of two family trees intertwine to create a whole new togetherness. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment encircled by the idea of eternity. Truvalence Creations takes that moment seriously. Our scientists and artists transform this human mystery into a very real images of life’s miraculous, enduring beauty. Seven billion other people on the planet share nearly all of your DNA, and yet there has never been another you—another him, or her. There never will be. And that’s forever.

YOUR DNA IMAGE

The beauty of your DNA lies in its structure; but that structure is both too massive and too tiny at the same time. How is that possible? A single DNA molecule is so miniscule in size that even using the most incredibly advanced technology of the atomic force microscope, it still just looks like a fuzzy string. But contained in that miniscule package are literally billions of base pairs - the units of code that make up DNA – and that’s way too much info to fit on a Ring! What we need is a way to take a small fraction of that code and turn it into a visual picture that tells us about its structure. There are two well-established processes that can do that for us: RAPD PCR and Electrophoresis. RAPD PCR uses little pre-built sections of base-pairs called primers that attach to your DNA in specific locations that are unique to you. These primers mark the beginning and end of several different fragments. Then a chain reaction takes place, making millions of copies of each of the DNA fragments bookended by those markers. Depending on your DNA’s unique structure, those fragments could be short, long, or somewhere in between. Exactly how long those fragments are tells us something about you, your DNA, and how you’re different from anyone else. So now that we’ve got all these millions of fragments of all different lengths and they’re all jumbled together in a big, messy DNA soup, how do we make sense of it all? This is where the Electrophoresis comes in. We start with all the fragments at one end of a column and then zap it with an electric charge, causing the fragments to move. Small fragments move faster and further than their larger counterparts so we end up with same-sized fragments all bunched together at various distances from the start line. With the help of some high-tech lasers and digital cameras, we can generate a picture of that column and the resulting DNA fragment groups as seen here.

You may notice that this image has not one, but eight columns. Each column represents a different primer and the bands that show up in the columns are the fragments of your DNA that were copied, grouped together by size. A single band in a single column might be shared by any number of people. It is the unique combination of bands in all the columns that shows just how special you are. In fact, we think you’re so special, we’ll even send you this image to remind you!


ENGRAVING YOUR DNA IMAGE ON A RING

Now that we have the image of your DNA, we need to actually put it on your Ring. The first stop is our team of professional artists. Using a rare combination of technical prowess and artistic flair, they clean, sharpen, and finesse this image until each and every marker band is clearly defined and shaped just so. Then they select the perfect Ring-sized cross section to be engraved in the precious metal of your choice.

Laser engraving is next, where high-intensity beams of light energy carve out this extra special pattern in 360 degrees of perfection. Finally, it’s on to a small army of Bench Jewelers to be cleaned, polished, finished, inspected, and nestled in its plush little nest until the moment you pluck it out. It is the mysterious made tangible. A frozen moment in human history, captured in a timeless image that is uniquely you.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Looking to impress your friends at your next get together? You know that your Ring will be a conversation starter, and there’s nothing quite like being able to drop “Polymerase Chain Reaction” into casual conversation. Just sayin’.

Base Pairs:
DNA bases pair up with each other, A pairs with T, and G pairs with C, to form units called base pairs. Each base pair forms a rung of the twisted ladder shape called a double helix.

Cell:
The basis structural, functional, and biological unit of all known organisms. A cell is the basic unit of life.

Chromosomes:
A threadlike structure made up of nucleic acids (DNA & RNA) and proteins found in the nucleus of most living cells. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, where each chromosome in a pair comes from each parent.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid):
A self-replicating chain molecule present in nearly all living organisms. Most DNA is found within chromosomes, but some DNA can also be found in a cell’s mitochondria. DNA is made up of four chemical bases, adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining the organism.

Electrophoresis:
The process used to segment out different fragments of a DNA sample so that a unique image can be taken.

Gene:
The basic physical and functional unit of heredity, made up of DNA. Some genes provide instructions for making proteins, but many genes do other things like control the expression of (turning on or off) other genes. Each chromosome contains many genes.

Genome:
An organism’s entire set of DNA, including all of its genes. You’ll often hear 2 different numbers referenced with respect to the size of the human genome. Since we have 23 pairs of complementary chromosomes, some will refer the number of base pairs within just one set of the 23 chromosomes, which is about 3.2 billion base pairs. If you look at all 46 chromosomes, that number doubles to about 6.4 billion base pairs. Either way, it’s a lot!

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR):
A method for amplifying DNA. Primers are used to mark different strands of DNA prior to inciting the reaction that will result in the creation of copies of DNA to be analyzed.

Primer:
A molecule (as a short strand of RNA or DNA) used to form another molecule (as a longer chain of DNA). Our scientists will use a primer to create a chain reaction (PCR) in your DNA to amplify it for testing.

Want to learn even more? Visit our FAQ page for additional answers!

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