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DNA Question for TV Show - (Apr/08/2009 )

Hey guys,

I'm working in the writer's room of a new fictional medical show coming out TV and we've run into a bit of a stumbling block concerning a scene with DNA and the doctor. Basically, the question is: If our character has a DNA test run on a blood sample, but doesnt know what hes looking for, would the sample show IBMPFD- Inclusion Body Myopathy (a medical disorder determined by single gene VPD)? Or would the lab examining the sample need to know what to look for for when it runs the test? Thanks so much

-johnshaft-

johnshaft on Apr 8 2009, 08:52 PM said:

Hey guys,

I'm working in the writer's room of a new fictional medical show coming out TV and we've run into a bit of a stumbling block concerning a scene with DNA and the doctor. Basically, the question is: If our character has a DNA test run on a blood sample, but doesnt know what hes looking for, would the sample show IBMPFD- Inclusion Body Myopathy (a medical disorder determined by single gene VPD)? Or would the lab examining the sample need to know what to look for for when it runs the test? Thanks so much


If it's run on a microarray containing thousands of different genes, I'm sure they could tell. It depends which detection process they use.

-Ahrenhase-

Given the usual scientific standards of TV shows, your method would not be unusual nor would it be questioned by a layman with a knowledge of biology taught in high-school. If you wanted to add plausibility, you could make it a micro-array detection, as Ahrenase said.

My issue is that IBMPFD is autosomally dominant, meaning that every person with a mutation in either copy of this gene (usually we have two copies, called alleles) will have the disease - meaning that at least one of the patient's parents are likely to have it as well, unless it is a spontaneous or new mutation, in which case it is unlikely to be picked up by a micro-array or any standard DNA test.

-bob1-

JohnShaft- I study IBMPFD contact me to discuss the plot.
Conrad Weihl

-weihlc-

RFLP

PCR and restriction digest? Dominant or not this will do the trick.

-hanming86-