Picture of Daken Howlett's DNA
|Power:||The X-gene that is present in every mutants DNA|
|Known Mutants:||All manifested mutants|
What is the "x-gene" defined as?
The x-gene is not a single gene, but rather part of the X-gene complex. The X-gene is one discrete complex within the genome (which gives you your markers to find "the X-gene") but with the manifestations being differing complexes of genes within that X-gene (and possibly other alterations within the other parts of the genome where required). The expression of genes is NOT related to you having them.
Everyone has vast quantities of genes that turn on and off at different points in their lives, primarily due to different environmental triggers. And the trigger for one gene turning on, can then lead to a cascade effect of others turning on. And some never turn on - for example, we all have things called oncogenes, which will give you cancer if they turn on. For many, many, many people in the world, these oncogenes never turn on and you don't get cancer.
So, basically, for example, Kurt Wagner would have had the X-gene in his genome and certain changes to his physiology expressed during the fetal development process - thus his physical manifestations that were obvious at birth. However, he had other parts of his X-gene that required different triggers to express; when he hit puberty and certain hormonal processes started working, those parts of his X-gene complex expressed. And hey presto, teleportation.
In genetic terms, the spontaneous abortion rate in the mutant population would have to be immense... Genetically, what happens to X-mutants is beyond the realms of anything sane. Mutations that cause large-scale physical changes are, in the VAST majority of cases, deleterious. Generally to the point of the fetus spontaneously aborting early in gestation (in human terms, before most women know they're pregnant). Certainly to the point of seriously ongoing health problems.
Testing for the X-gene:Edit
How is the x-gene tested for?
Testing for the x-gene complex is a straightforward DNA test, same as paternity testing. Cheek scrapings, hair, blood, etc. can all be tested for the x-gene.
What can be determined from the test?
Simply the presence or absence of an active x-gene complex. Powers and magnitude are much, much more difficult to predict or detect. The very small (statistically) mutant population, most of whom wouldn't agree to testing for various very good reason, means that it would be very difficult to determine specific markers for genes that would appear in say telepaths only. There if is impossible at this point in time to test for specific powers or even powers sets.
What sort of tests are available, and how do they differ?
The main test available was developed in the late seventies by Dr. Nathaniel Essex and his team at Johns Hopkins. It is a non-invasive DNA scan that takes about 10 minutes to complete and about two weeks to analyze. It's use in the US has been limited due to legal challenges and state by state legislation. The scanner is about the size/expense of a modern MRI machine.
How common are testing facilities and the equipment capable of determining mutancy?
Marcus Maas developed an updated scanner that analzes blood for a mutant signature, but it is spotty and hasn't been distributed outside of his network.
Facilities are also available in major hospitals across the US.
Mutants that have been tested prior to manifesting:Edit
- Laura Kinney
- Kalina Maas
- Daken Howlett
- Ryder Creed (Prenatal)