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Lyra Jean
07-09-2010, 06:39 AM
I have a character who went into a coma for a month due to a reaction to an injection of nanobots into her body. All my characters got the same injection. The nanobots are designed to integrate with their bodies. But the injection she received was designed for her twin sister who she is pretending to be.

I had it be one month so that it would seem serious. But my question is---what could put a person in a short term coma that a doctor could test for. All the tests are going to come up negative because she doesn't have anything wrong with her. The doctor isn't going to think it was a reaction to the nanobots because it's supposed to be designed for her body. My character is 25 but I can make her as young as 16 or as old as 30 if I need to.

backslashbaby
07-09-2010, 06:47 AM
I'm not sure that I understand the question. But I might have an answer, lol.

I was in a 2.5 day coma because of a toxic level of a tricyclic antidepressant. It was like an overdose (but my liver metabolism did it).

So toxic substances can do it, and they can be tested for. Don't know if that helps :)?

Lyra Jean
07-09-2010, 06:59 AM
meh it's late. I knew my writing coherency was off.

I have my character go into a coma because it's her body's way of dealing with the nanotechnology that was introduced to her system. She doesn't die because the nano's were made for her identical twin sister so there are enough similarities so that it doesn't kill her.

I just need some medical reasons for the doctor to run some tests to see what caused the coma. The doctor does not suspect it to be a reaction to the nanotechnology because he doesn't know that the sisters switched places.

I need the doctor to keep having her come back to run tests and keep her on edge. She's afraid that if she is discovered she will be sent back home and thus forever separated from her sister. (They are leaving Earth to colonize another planet. Her sister is on a different ship.)

But cool I'll keep that in mind to test for. My mother also suggested to test for MS. It doesn't matter what the test is cause the test will always come up negative. I just need to keep her on edge.

SF4-EVER
07-09-2010, 08:53 PM
If the character and her sister are identical twins, I don't understand why the nanos would work for one but not the other. Is there some environmental difference between them that throws off the nanos?

To answer your question, I think diabetes can cause comas if left untreated. They could certainly test blood sugar levels. Since it sounds as if your setting has sophisticated tech, I imagine the doctors could run brain scans to look for injuries and other abnormalities.

I'm also planning to put a character into a short-term coma, so I'll be watching this thread with interest. :)

Lyra Jean
07-09-2010, 09:51 PM
Well I learned that there could be differences in DNA between identical twins. Perhaps I can think of something. I really suck with outlines so I don't have one with this story.

sheadakota
07-09-2010, 10:21 PM
Well I learned that there could be differences in DNA between identical twins. Perhaps I can think of something. I really suck with outlines so I don't have one with this story.
Identical twins have identical DNA. They come from the exact same genetic blueprint- so they should theoretically react the same to substances injected into them-

Identical, or monozygotic, twins develop from a single egg/sperm combination that splits a few days after conception. Their DNA originates from a single source, thus their genetic makeup is the same and the characteristics that are determined by genetics will be similar. Monozygotic twins are always of the same gender.

Where did you come across your information?

OneWriter
07-10-2010, 01:02 AM
For one thing, identical twins may have different phenotypes, hence they MAY NOT react the same way to the same drug. But there have been studies that have found difference in twins' DNA. One was done by Univ. of Alabama. Also, some twins are the mirror image of the other instead of the identical.

sheadakota
07-10-2010, 01:05 AM
For one thing, identical twins may have different phenotypes. But there have been studies that have found difference in twins' DNA. Also, some twins are the mirror image of the other instead of the identical.
Like a chimera? I have heard of the mirror image phenomenon- but the different DNA thing is fascinating! I'll have to learn more about that-Do you know how it occurs? I tried looking it up but my google fu- eludes me today- apologies to OP for the derail :)

OneWriter
07-10-2010, 01:09 AM
Like a chimera? I have heard of the mirror image phenomenon- but the different DNA thing is fascinating! I'll have to learn more about that-Do you know how it occurs? I tried looking it up but my google fu- eludes me today- apologies to OP for the derail :)

No, a chimera is a completely different thing. In fact, a chimera is the exact opposite of twins: two fertilized eggs that fuse together. The resulting individual comprises of two DNAs in different compartments of his/her body.

Identical twins may have different repeats, ie regions that are repeated in one twin but not in the other. They have been found in both phenotypically concordant and discordant twins. I can give you a reference if you are interested.

ETA: http://www.livescience.com/health/080221-twins-not.html

ColoradoGuy
07-10-2010, 01:18 AM
I do intensive/critical care medicine as my day job and can't think of anything that would evade our ability to figure things out in the time frame you want. I've been puzzled for hours to a day or so with comatose patients, but with all the scans, toxin screens, and whatnot we've got now your scenario is a tough one to explain medically.

But so what? Maybe having the docs mystified for a month, unable to explain anything, would add interest. You could have normal toxicology screens, normal spinal tap, normal head MRI, normal head CT, normal autonomic reflexes (pupillary reflexes, heart rate, respiratory pattern, and the like). That would make it completely mysterious. The EEG is typically globally depressed in coma, so that could be the only abnormality.

sheadakota
07-10-2010, 01:21 AM
very cool! i found some interesting links! Learn something new everyday!

Fame<Infamy
07-10-2010, 01:36 AM
Coma's usually are caused by head trauma from what I understand. As a practical cause, car accidents work well.

Lyra Jean
07-10-2010, 06:52 AM
thanks for all the info. Colorado I might just go with what you are stating and keeping it a mystery.

While the nanotechnology is considered somewhat common in my world. Astronauts received them regularly to protect them from radiation and various other deficiencies they can acquire working in space.

I could have the doctor think he discovered some new problem with the nanotechnology.