Mitochondrial DNA is found in the mitochondria of eukaryotic cells separate from nuclear DNA. It is usually inherited exclusively from the mother and can affect offspring development. Mutations in mtDNA can cause a variety of metabolic diseases in humans. In fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), mom’s mitochondrial DNA can affect whether the fly develops normally with a head and a tail, or if the offspring develops two heads or two tails on either end of the body (resulting in inviable offspring).
Writing Prompt: Mitochondrial DNA (GA)
You discover an alien race with three kinds of DNA, and after some kind of disaster on their planet they are suffering from some really bizarre diseases and birth defects. You and/or the aliens have the technology to fully correct genetic diseases. Your task is to conduct experiments on their equivalent of lab rats or fruit flies (also possessing three kinds of DNA) to determine which genes in which combinations of the three DNA sets is causing the problems. Then, of course, you must determine the consequences of correcting the mutant genes as you struggle to put things right. Bonus points if some diseases will be fixed but at some other genetic, developmental, metabolic, or other cost.