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Date Posted: 09:43:28 12/13/02 Fri
Author: MVR
Subject: !3 Days to go! - MVR's Twisted Holiday Humour countdown...
In reply to: MV Renee 's message, "MV Renee's Twisted Holiday Humour countdown... 14 Days to go" on 12:49:32 12/12/02 Thu

Buy a piece of Christmas; Reindeer DNA in a vial

Reuters

HONG KONG: Stuck for a Christmas gift? How about a blob of real Finnish reindeer DNA sealed in a vial topped with silver antlers.

Richard Collins, project manager at Hong Kong-based DNA-Tech Ltd, said customer interest in the reindeer DNA had snowballed since his firm began selling it Tuesday for HK$480 (US$61.55) per sample.

"The pendant contains the entire genetic code of a reindeer. So if, in the future, you had the technology, you could, in theory, reproduce a whole reindeer," Collins said.

"We think it's a nice Christmas gift."

The preserved DNA, which is purple, was extracted from blood taken from reindeer at the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute near the Arctic circle, Collins said.

As a Christmas time show of peace and goodwill, the firm plans to send pendants to prominent world leaders including President Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pope John Paul II.

Collins' firm also offers to preserve DNA from pets -- dead and alive -- and is looking into obtaining DNA from endangered pandas, and for a source of dinosaur DNA.

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