zarpaulus on Aug 4th 2018 at 11:03:06 AM
Last Edited By:
zarpaulus on Aug 31st 2018 at 10:26:14 AM
Page Type: trope
In real life, DNA fingerprinting takes a minimum of a few hours, more often months given the backlog most labs have, and requires a whole array of different devices and chemicals. However, in fiction it's not uncommon to have devices that can read DNA as quickly as a biometric scanner.
- One arc of Transmetropolitan introduces a new device called a "G-reader" that can read someone's genome from a distance. It's first used by Spider to indite a politician in a porn ring, and then by a bunch of skinheads to find someone with an unpopular genotype and kill him. Spider later uses one to bring down the Smiler.
- Cale Tucker from Titan A.E. receives a ring from Captain Korso, made by his Disappeared Dad, Doctor Tucker. This wedding band-sized bauble takes only seconds to analyze Cale's DNA, and create a star map within Cale's hand (it doesn't hurt).
- The central technology behind the plot of Gattaca is DNA scanners that can determine one's identity from a drop of blood or urine in seconds and indicate whether a person has any genetic disorders. This makes laws against genetic discrimination impossible to enforce.
- The film adaptation Judge Dredd of the comic book has Dredd carry the Lawgiver as his sidearm. In addition to voice-activated load switching, the Lawgiver can also take a DNA reading from its wielder, and deliver a lethal shock to any unauthorized user. It also takes the judge's DNA data, and encrypts the sequence onto the round fired, effectively signing the judge's handiwork, all within the few moments between unholstering the weapon and discharging it.
Live Action TV
- Tricorders in Star Trek can usually scan DNA samples.
- Andromeda: The lineage-obsessed Nietzscheans tend to carry DNA scanners on them, and in "Music of a Distant Drum" a DNA biometric lock is one of the three locks on Tyr's safe. The High Guard's force lances have similar biometric security on them.
- In Altered Carbon Kovacs' expense account is tied to his sleeve's genetic profile, so he usually makes payments by slapping his saliva or blood on the register.
- In Stargate Atlantis nearly all Ancient technology only works for humans with a specific marker gene inherited from them. Which includes a fair number of the expedition, and the royal families of at least two Pegasus galaxy worlds.
- Gene scans are sufficiently advanced that large cities can have their population scanned and see if they've been attacked by genestealers (Tyranid scouts who inject their own DNA into the victims and make them slaves of the Hive Mind, so that each new generation becomes closer to a pure Tyranid).
- They're also used in standard Space Marine medical examinations (to monitor possible breakdowns of the geneseed that gives them their superhuman abilities) and to reinforce security against infiltrators and genestealers (although this can be fooled).
- Tau battlesuits include DNA scanning to prevent Gundam Jacking, as one human found out when he tried to steal one and was instantly fried.
- In Escape from Butcher Bay the guards have DNA-locked assault rifles that shock Riddick if he tries to pick one up.
- In the pilot of Futurama Fry and the Professor are confirmed to be related by sticking their fingers into a machine that lights up green and dings a minute later.
- Parodied on The Simpsons in the second half of "Who Shot Mr. Burns". Chief Wiggum presents an eyelash for DNA analysis, and the technician warns that it may take days or even weeks for the results. Then the machine dings and the technician says it's ready.
- The Ringmaster from Loonatics Unleashed has a device that performs LEGO Genetics on target subjects, including a random boy attending his Circus of Fear. The Ringmaster captures all six Loonatics, and within minutes has computed their complete genomes. That's complete sequencing on two rabbits, one duck, one coyote, one roadrunner and one Tasmanian devil.
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