(AX) Interspecial Procreation: Biologically Significant Bestiality and Beyond

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In the far off future, an esoteric consortium of likemindedly innovative scientists has painstakenly developed a means of enabling interspecial reproduction as to genetic conformations in relation to the emergence of pregnancy. Sexual differences between species no longer hinder the progression of evolutionary outgrowth. Keep in mind though, the animals wouldn’t actually have direct sex with one another, but rather the specialists would implant the sexual devices of one partner into the body of the corresponding host in order to allow the possibility of interspecial procreation.

In this way, to give some contextual reference, humans can procreate with sharks to form a shark-human hybrid with the various characteristics of both species: for example, a creature with enhanced breathe capacity and heightened intelligence virtually on par with that of human beings etc.

Of course, there are many known unknowns and even unknown unknowns involved- thus potentially jeopardizing the wellbeing of the specimens in occupation- but, with the prospect of artificially engineering new species capable of unprecedented phenomena, people have officially legalized this variety of procedure, although it has been set under heavy security and surveillance as to inside-news and unconstrained-updates in informing the global people.

The masses have often conjured vivid scenarios of imaginative labour in the idea of interspecial procreation; notably, that between the mortals and Olympians of ancient Greece/Rome in the conception of mortal demigods.

Now, I inquire, what do you think of this idea/protocol? Would you support it? Yes or no? Consider the moral and ethical implications. What do you think could happen out of this and for what purpose(s)?

 
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tl;dr OP is a furry and wants science to make it okay.

I’m open to the idea that genetic engineering can produce new species, even crossed with humans, but I think that there really isn’t any reason to, beyond scientific study.

 
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What a weird thread.

And no simeng, I don’t think it would work.

 
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Sharks and humans…
There’s a thing in science that we like to call “not compatible”.

 
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We already have crossed sharks & humans….results: politicians & lawyers,,,often one in the same.

 
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You guys, so grumpy. I’ll bite.

Now, I inquire, what do you think of this idea/protocol? Would you support it? Yes or no? Consider the moral and ethical implications. What do you think could happen out of this and for what purpose(s)?

I would support it. The moral and ethical implications are sweeping, truly sweeping. We’d be broadening the definition of human and sentient rapidly, there would be nigh infinite shades of various semi human sentient creatures running about. That’s just in the first generation, over the course of time the degree of blending and options would be exponentially right of the rails. The (semi)human body would be plastic in truly unprecedented ways.

Furthermore, there is the connection between mind and body. Some areas of note to me off hand would be hive animals, pack animals, anything with a radically different social order. How would that jive? Secondly, an explosion of sensory options. Birds can see in a much wider color range then us, dogs can smell unimaginably better then us. The human experience is very tied to the (mostly) common limits to our human perceptions. Animal hybrids could change that. The cultural shift in these ideas would be staggering. The advantageous beyond mere a fitter and healthier life could potentially be much more. New cultures, new arts, deeper richer sensory spheres. It would be wild.

As for what would happen? Sheesh hard to say. Like any power I think it would try never to relinquish itself, then eventually fall to resistance. The finer details of that would be far true strange in our dynamic real world to predict.

Ultimately it is a wild and dangerous idea that could rend apart our conception of humans and the limits thereupon to pieces. Potentially disastrously. But I’d have to say go for it. I’m always cheering for any daring crucible projects.

 
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We already have better ways of introducing particular traits into species than simply cross-breeding them and hoping for the best. Genetic engineering is already a reality. We also have the opportunities offered by vika’s bio/ electronic/ mechanical hybrids. So I have to ask you, Simeng, why would we want to revert to this rather Frankensteinian method of creating new species?

As with evolution, if we left it to chance we would end up creating a plethora of dead ends before anything remotely useful came of this experiment. It just doesn’t even begin to make any sense to me. So to answer your questions, no, I would not support it if only for reasons of sheer impracticality. From a moral and ethical standpoint we would likely create numerous human-something else hybrids incapable of supporting themselves and with no hope of finding any place in society, which to me is ethically undesirable. I see nothing coming out of this which couldn’t be achieved far more efficiently by other means.

 
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I would have to agree with this post of beau’s:

Originally posted by beauval:

No, I would not support it if only for reasons of sheer impracticality. From a moral and ethical standpoint we would likely create numerous human-something else hybrids incapable of supporting themselves and with no hope of finding any place in society, which to me is ethically undesirable. I see nothing coming out of this which couldn’t be achieved far more efficiently by other means.

We can accomplish much the same end-goal, by using a genetic simulation combined with in-depth knowledge of the genes and the functions of the proteins they form the instructions for, to determine how the changes in genetic structure we introduce will interplay with one another, then when we find a viable configuration, going ahead and implementing that.

The result is exactly the same as your method, but with a far, far lower risk of incompatible or unplanned mutation in the final result. I’ll always favor this type of method over the one you illustrate here simeng, because it will produce the same broad result, with a far lower risk of physical pain and dysfunction to the creature who has to live in that body.

Otherwise, we are in the very real position where my profession has to clean up after yours, so to speak. Fitting prosthesis of various types to the offspring, so they can function as intended. Genetic modification without careful planning and placement of genes, is always going to be a lottery. Especially when introducing genes for the first time.

 
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yet another adverbly adjectivised thread as to i won’t be analytically deciphering of which the boastful overuse of adjective adverbs and adverbly adjectives and as well as to of which the insanely misused conjunctions.

 
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Most of you will know what I’m talking about when discussing terraforming planets to support human life. However there is an another trend going about, bio-engineering humans to survive in places normal humans have no chance in. As a fan of this method I support OP’s idea but as it’s already been said by beauval and VikaTae I don’t think I could support it as a practice.

 
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Sexual intercourse is not necessary to create such hybrids. This is not science future.
This is science now.

 
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Bio engineering humans? Are we talking about Eugenics?

 
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Sometimes I love wikipedia :)

Originally posted by MyTie:

Bio engineering humans? Are we talking about Eugenics?

Sort of yes, but not quite. Most of the practiced Eugenics seemed to be focused on something called The Racial Purity witch I find to be absolute nonsense. What I’m talking about is purposefully creating an subspecies (best word I could find)of humans with some extra traits.

Example: You have found an earth-like planet witch only has about 10% of habitable landmass. Will you a) raise the seabed to create more habitable land, possibly destroying the entire ecosystem of the planet. b) Import insurmountable amount of material to create artificial islands for the population, bankrupting the planet in one go. Or c) take a refined version of the OP’s shark people and turn the 10% to more like 90%.

 
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What methods could be employed to create this sub race?

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

What methods could be employed to create this sub race?

Google glow in the dark pig. Click on the BBC link. It’s a pig/jellyfish hybrid.

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

What methods could be employed to create this sub race?

We are already using some basic methods today. They are in use especially in advanced farming industry, for example when creating disease-resistant plants and crops by introducing genes between otherwise unmixable plants.

I cannot but expect that the technologies in-use today would be perfected bu the time we are capable to truly start colonizing other planets.

 
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Originally posted by MyTie:

Bio engineering humans? Are we talking about Eugenics?

I hate how Eugenics is viewed as such a dirty term. I’m not promoting racial eugenics, but the general, true concept is not a bad one. Is the idea that we should eliminate genetic disorders as the means arise really that awful? I mean, if someone told you in 9 months you would be a parent, and you have the choice between having a child with Down’s Syndrome or one without, I hope for the sake of your child you chose without. Down’s is a terrible disease and my heart goes out to those who suffer from it, but if we can eliminate the problem in a couple of generations by simply altering DNA, why wouldn’t we?

Originally posted by Azolf:

Sexual intercourse is not necessary to create such hybrids. This is not science future.
This is science now.

I’d say we’re still a ways off before Genetic technology is capable of creating a person that has the endurance to thrive, or even survive as a cross-species sentient. Besides, I think the sexual intercourse idea is more to promote the resulting species’ ability to reproduce with others of its kind (I.E. they’d be just like any other animal).

 
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Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:
Originally posted by MyTie:

Bio engineering humans? Are we talking about Eugenics?

I hate how Eugenics is viewed as such a dirty term. I’m not promoting racial eugenics, but the general, true concept is not a bad one. Is the idea that we should eliminate genetic disorders as the means arise really that awful? I mean, if someone told you in 9 months you would be a parent, and you have the choice between having a child with Down’s Syndrome or one without, I hope for the sake of your child you chose without. Down’s is a terrible disease and my heart goes out to those who suffer from it, but if we can eliminate the problem in a couple of generations by simply altering DNA, why wouldn’t we?

Originally posted by Azolf:

Sexual intercourse is not necessary to create such hybrids. This is not science future.
This is science now.

I’d say we’re still a ways off before Genetic technology is capable of creating a person that has the endurance to thrive, or even survive as a cross-species sentient. Besides, I think the sexual intercourse idea is more to promote the resulting species’ ability to reproduce with others of its kind (I.E. they’d be just like any other animal).

Dunno Bro,
We got the genome mapped out. It’s no longer a matter of how, but should we and when.

 
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Dunno Bro,
We got the genome mapped out. It’s no longer a matter of how, but should we and when.

It’s not a simple matter of mapping out the genome and then suddenly it all makes sense. You need to map out the genomes of any species you intend to slice it with. Then you need to know whether or not that particular strain of DNA will be accepted into the host. I’m sure it can be done, but we’re still a few years off.

Depending on what you’re slicing in, and what you expect the person to do, I’d say maybe. If you want to make a half-cat person to be your sex slave because you’re a furry, and that’s your fetish, then hell no, I think that would be a form of slavery and completely unfair to the subject of that experiment. If you want to have someone who is immune to a number of diseases, because you feel compelled to contain a pandemic, and saturating the population with people who are unable to be effected, I’d say go for it.

 
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Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

I hate how Eugenics is viewed as such a dirty term. I’m not promoting racial eugenics, but the general, true concept is not a bad one. Is the idea that we should eliminate genetic disorders as the means arise really that awful? I mean, if someone told you in 9 months you would be a parent, and you have the choice between having a child with Down’s Syndrome or one without, I hope for the sake of your child you chose without. Down’s is a terrible disease and my heart goes out to those who suffer from it, but if we can eliminate the problem in a couple of generations by simply altering DNA, why wouldn’t we?

Okay, my first question is, who are you and what have you done with Onlineidiot? :)

If you could keep discussing seriously at this level rather than your usual, that would be fantastic, as it gives so much more to think about.

As to the argument itself, are you really describing eugenics there, as in rejecting the defective zygotes completely, or, are you talking about something else? It strikes me that one method with likely a higher success ratio than a simple error-checking system (is this one faulty? Yes. Is this one faulty? Yes. Is this one faulty? No.) would be to actually edit the code of the fertilised egg before it splits further.

You would have to use a variation on IVF to carry out this kind of pregnancy of course, but you could in theory create a designer child by modifying the gene sequences of the fertilised cell before it begins to divide. Determine how the two halves of the DNA have connected, run a check on the code for all known defects, and then … edit them out. The first few generations would have a high risk of disasterous complications of course, if we had introduced new errors into the process, but we wouldn’t be sorting through dozens of samples to find a potentially disease-free one. Instead we would take a single sample and edit the DNA inside of it to be exactly to specification.

Then implant it, and let it divide according to its program.

EDIT:

It’s not a simple matter of mapping out the genome and then suddenly it all makes sense. You need to map out the genomes of any species you intend to slice it with. Then you need to know whether or not that particular strain of DNA will be accepted into the host. I’m sure it can be done, but we’re still a few years off.

It is even worse than that. When you combine the two genomes into one, each has half of every gene, but when the two strands combine into the new DNA double helix inside the fertilised cell, the new DNA strand by nature will have genes that match up to neither that of the mother’s species nor that of the father’s. It has a high chance in fact, of being complete and absolute gibberish. Even if it does work, you now have a brand new genome you have to map out, then figure out what each new gene does – because there will not be parallels for a great many of them in the parents. The only time there will be parallels is when the genes in both parents were the same anyway.

 
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Okay, my first question is, who are you and what have you done with Onlineidiot? :)

If you could keep discussing seriously at this level rather than your usual, that would be fantastic, as it gives so much more to think about.

I can make meaningful posts when it suits me, but most of the time it’s more fun to satire other SDers who get mad about things they don’t have the slightest grasp on. I.e. those who think that everything in Scifi novels is suddenly reality.

As to the argument itself, are you really describing eugenics there, as in rejecting the defective zygotes completely, or, are you talking about something else? It strikes me that one method with likely a higher success ratio than a simple error-checking system (is this one faulty? Yes. Is this one faulty? Yes. Is this one faulty? No.) would be to actually edit the code of the fertilised egg before it splits further.

Both ideas sound reasonable, but it depends on the amount of work involved in editing a genetic strain. I mean, it’s got to be worth the effort.

You would have to use a variation on IVF to carry out this kind of pregnancy of course, but you could in theory create a designer child by modifying the gene sequences of the fertilised cell before it begins to divide.

For that matter, couldn’t you edit both the sperm and egg cells prior to fertilization? Assuming they both last (or are able to create a stable replication in the sperm’s case) wouldn’t that be effective? Perhaps we need to do more research on the genomes in sperm and eggs before this is applicable?

. The first few generations would have a high risk of disasterous complications of course, if we had introduced new errors into the process, but we wouldn’t be sorting through dozens of samples to find a potentially disease-free one.

Can’t make an artificial human omelet without splitting a few eggs.

Even if it does work, you now have a brand new genome you have to map out, then figure out what each new gene does – because there will not be parallels for a great many of them in the parents. The only time there will be parallels is when the genes in both parents were the same anyway.

Which is why we should stick with mixing human DNA with other humans. That is, until we have a much firmer understanding of genetics, and have mapped every last species we plan to cross.

 
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Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

Most of the time it’s more fun to satire other SDers who get mad about things they don’t have the slightest grasp on. I.e. those who think that everything in Scifi novels is suddenly reality.

Heh. Yea, I can think of a few of those myself. A recent one involving using atmospheric forcefields on Mars to keep the air in springs to mind (you know who you are).

Both ideas sound reasonable, but it depends on the amount of work involved in editing a genetic strain. I mean, it’s got to be worth the effort.

True. I was thinking more about the wastage inherent in trying to find a ‘perfect’ specimen when both parents are going to be predisposed in their genetics to any number of conditions anyway. You could quite plausibly, go through several hundred samples before you found onethat was reasonable. Ditching that whole part of the process and working with one sounds less frustrating. You could even create the new double helix yourself, then implant it directly.

For that matter, couldn’t you edit both the sperm and egg cells prior to fertilization? Assuming they both last (or are able to create a stable replication in the sperm’s case) wouldn’t that be effective? Perhaps we need to do more research on the genomes in sperm and eggs before this is applicable?

The egg, yes. The sperm, no. It is a lottery as to which sperm will reach the egg first. If the second gets there quickly enough before the egg’s membrane begins to thicken, it might not even be the first sperm that is the only one to fertilise the egg. That’s a frequent cause of chimeras – a fetus that is the conglameration of multiple sets of genetic material.

The only way to do that, is to inject a specific sperm into the egg. I don’t think we have any tools for extracting the genetic material from a cell that small, but I’m not sure. We can do it for the egg, because it is comparatively vast in size.

It would be easier, most likely to edit the final genome, because you have to map the sperm’s strand and the egg’s strand anyway. Why not map them both when they are together? That way you only have to map the genome once instead of twice. Even with next-decade methods, that is still saving you time and effort.

Which is why we should stick with mixing human DNA with other humans. That is, until we have a much firmer understanding of genetics, and have mapped every last species we plan to cross.

I agree. It would be even better in fact, to use the mapping to reverse engineer the programming structure of the helix. In other words understand the programming language itself, and its conventions. Then we could plausibly encode new programs, that don’t have to limit themselves to what nature has already tried.

That would involve unthinkably huge datasets, and a LOT of expert system help. It is far, far future thinking, but would in principle, produce by far the best results, as you know what to expect before the fetus develops. Because you understand the programming language so well by that point, you can grow it in simulation as many times as is required, before beginning work on the physical one.

 
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True. I was thinking more about the wastage inherent in trying to find a ‘perfect’ specimen when both parents are going to be predisposed in their genetics to any number of conditions anyway. You could quite plausibly, go through several hundred samples before you found onethat was reasonable. Ditching that whole part of the process and working with one sounds less frustrating. You could even create the new double helix yourself, then implant it directly.

Hm, why go through the headache of completely recreating a new double helix when you could simply take some of the concepts of cloning and ditch the messed up chromosome and plugging in one of the parent’s? Assuming that either one of the parents isn’t a carrier for whatever you’re trying to keep out.

The only way to do that, is to inject a specific sperm into the egg. I don’t think we have any tools for extracting the genetic material from a cell that small, but I’m not sure.

We probably don’t… yet.

It would be easier, most likely to edit the final genome, because you have to map the sperm’s strand and the egg’s strand anyway. Why not map them both when they are together? That way you only have to map the genome once instead of twice. Even with next-decade methods, that is still saving you time and effort.

I guess if we’re going to be removing those portions that carry the diseases in addition to those that are going to have it, I see your point.

That would involve unthinkably huge datasets, and a LOT of expert system help. It is far, far future thinking, but would in principle, produce by far the best results, as you know what to expect before the fetus develops. Because you understand the programming language so well by that point, you can grow it in simulation as many times as is required, before beginning work on the physical one.

Golly, this makes me happy, making our own species of plants and animals… Too bad this will probably not happen in my lifetime.

 
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Originally posted by onlineidiot1994:

Hm, why go through the headache of completely recreating a new double helix when you could simply take some of the concepts of cloning and ditch the messed up chromosome and plugging in one of the parent’s? Assuming that either one of the parents isn’t a carrier for whatever you’re trying to keep out.

That’s the problem. Everyone’s a potential carrier for one issue or another. Every family tree has one or another genetic predisposition in their history. It is a bit of a nightmare scenario if you screen for one, or a small number of conditions, only to have the new being hit by another.

The only solution I can think of along your lines, is a variation on a biochip lab. Only instead of testing blood for a quarter million possible telltale markers, it would be testing the genome for a couple billion known defective gene combinations.

How the heck you would construct such a piece of testing apparatus, I truly do not know. At a guess it would have to use multiple copies of the genome, one for each testing mechanism, and a protein based interaction method to determine the presence of the fault. Even doing it massively in parallel, you’d still be looking at a couple of days to check for everything (DNA-based computation is slow). That is assuming such a method is even feasible.