Podcast No. 36 in English
Today is August 18th, 2021.
The previous podcast No. 35 was about a company called “Keepers” and its president Mr. Taichi Yoshida who established the “Relic Collection — or Relic Disposal” business in Japan.
Today, I wish to talk about DNA preservation.
I was listening to a podcast on my way to town today.
The podcast is called “Elevating Funeral Service”
and the Episode #30, “Should Your Funeral Home Offer DNA Preservation?”
Come to think of it, there is not even a single funeral service in Japan that offers DNA preservation.
- Why should you offer such?
- How to preserve?
- DNA degrades in time so data is important.
- BTW, the DNA degradation mechanism has not yet been understood.
It talks about the value proposition and what they are, even before death.
- Find out a lot of information about yourself
- Find out a lot of information about your relatives and ancestors and even the family history
- Medical treatment in the future
Please listen to the 25 seconds excerpt from the podcast.
Death is a final concept of human beings.
But does it have to be?
Does it have to end like this?
This is why people mourn.
DNA preservation isn’t new at all.
Using a freeze dry method of storing food has been around and used by the Incas to store potatoes and also has been used for forensic testing.
Others are simple freezing but it’s not that easy.
Major issue is that it degrades (deteriorates) in time.
What’s needed is to store in a way that stops decaying like freeze drying.
People can even freeze dry sperm cells and bring it back after dipping in solution, thus not needing liquid nitrogen.
This comes to the previous podcast episode #33 “Plants With Memories”.
This is mingling DNA with plants to store data on living plants.
You plant the seed with your memory.
Your memory could be regenerated by eradicating plant DNA when the tree grows.
Your memory is in every leaf and bark on the tree.
The problem with this is that it’s still very costly.
Please refer to Podcast #33 on this issue of agrobacterium.
What if all funeral directors offer such services?
In Japan, there are kits sold on the net.
They are consumer level DNA testing and NOT preservation.
Cheaper they are, less reliable they are.
But not only the price that matters.
What kind of tests and services do you want to have?
I have read, some are less accurate.
What about preservation of DNA so that you can have it tested in the future, especially if they are no longer living, meaning dead.
As long as you are alive, you can extract your own DNA by giving a strand of your hair with a cuticle or blood sample.
There are research companies that offer storage of DNA under a regular living environment and even up to 60℃.
They can be tested once again when the time comes.
Many of these technologies come from studying dinosaurs and mummies.
But don’t worry, the way I see it, Jurassic Park will not come for another 50 more years.
When they do, dinosaurs still need to grow big to the size which they can gobble human beings.
There is an American company called SecuriGenes that partners with 1000 funeral homes.
It seems that every 1 out of 5 people will buy the option when they are offered.
Funeral homes will receive some dividends from the sales.
Would this be a good business in Japan?
I’m not sure since the funeral business is shrinking and people do NOT want to spend money anymore on funerals and rituals.
I think I would need another couple of more years to see how it turns out due to COVID-19 crisis.
This wraps up today’s story.
Thank you for listening.
We have to realize that funeral homes need to market using a different method.
People in the death industry have to use not just brochures and pamphlets and YouTube.
Actually, not too many funeral parlors use YouTube for marketing.
Podcasts have been around for almost 20 years since the first iPod appeared on October 23rd, 2001. Yes, that was 20 years ago.
Due to the boom of ClubHouse, talk shows have been given a second thought.
Twitter, Spotify, and even Facebook are in the show.
But the problems of ClubHouse and many radio shows are that you need to listen when it’s broadcasting and there’s no archive.
Podcasts are a simple method for people to catch up on what they have missed.
Funeral business is dying due to shrinking services.
Undertakers need to realize many of these religious rituals are now welcome anymore but when they are needed, explanation is necessary for all sales.
Undertakers need to use a special landing page for marketing on the internet.
It’s not only the cost that matters. It’s the cost performance which is the value of the funeral and not the least, great customer experience.
BTW, I’m doing a landing page creation session.
Keeping up with the clients is necessary but who wants to hear from a mortician?
Teach the clients some tricks of keeping funeral costs down and benefits of using different lawyers specializing for their purposes.
These are the values that you can’t buy with money.
It’s called sincerity.
Thank you very much for listening to my podcast and please subscribe.
A Book about me, can be bought from Amazon Japan called “死神と呼ばれた男” meaning “The Man Called the Reaper”, which will be published in English by September as well.
I’ll be holding an event called the “Book Break” at FCCJ, the foreign press club in Tokyo on September 29th.
This was your host, Yuusuke Wada, probably the only funeral business podcaster in Japan and signing off.