Good morning, class. We depart slightly from our regular discussion to contend with another subject near and dear to many of our class here and to the Federation at large. I speak of issues of inter-species relations and of the progeny that can be born of two members of diverse species.
Romantic and sexual relationships between various species are about 36 hours less than first contact between space faring species. Among a single species, divergent phenotypes may give rise to exoticism as well as racism, and the same has been found to apply to many sapient species in the galaxy.
There are three major considerations when determining if an interspecies couple may combine genetic structures to produce viable offspring, and what level of medical intervention may be needed in order to bring this about.
First, we must consider the variance between the two genomes of the species. This was covered in Universal Genetics, and you can refer to Appendix 1 from today’s lesson if you’d like a shorthand. Would someone who’s taken the class like to enlighten the rest of us today?
Go ahead, please.
“Thank you, sir. Lieutenant Respighi Joreth, U.S.S. Cambridge. The Doctor Phlox of the Enterprise NX-01 worked with the Vissian xenobiologist Traistana to formulate the Tucker Equation, which takes into account variables such as genetic structure, number of chromosomes, gender of the partners where applicable, average length of gestation of each species involved, and requirements for proper fertilization. Because of the numerous variables involved, these processes can take a long time to properly tailor for any two individuals. This formula has been revised over time to take into account more information as acquired from new species encountered by the Federation and who have had children with other sapient species.
Very excellent. The Tucker Equation, as well as the Cutler Variation and Bashir Permutation, are all used to determine the likelihood, ease, and rate of success of potential interspecies breeding. While it has been determined over time that many species can successfully produce offspring, who can give me one example of an easy pairing, and one example of a difficult pairing? The ease of pairing and gamete production is the second consideration of interspecies reproduction.
Go ahead, cadet.
“Thank you, sir. Cadet Lyr Totraii. Easily achieved pairings can involve Human and Vulcan parents, Human-Romulan pairs, and Human-Klingon pairs. More difficult pairings could be Klingon-Trill, Andorian with any humanoid, and attempting to produce an offspring between a humanoid and a non-humanoid.”
Excellent. Andorians present a unique case, as the four-gendered species has a much more complex mating and offspring cycle. Thankfully, the fertility issue that has plagued them for most of the past century seems to have been solved, and I for one look forward to seeing more Andorians in the Federation and away from their homeworld.
There may be no more well-known bi-species representative than the late Ambassador Spock. Through his long career, he was known to show various traits attributed to both his father and his mother, and succeeded in balancing that difference with the same skill and tact he used in Starfleet and as an Ambassador.
Other forms of reproduction including asexual, morphogenic, or the possibility of an energy-based being temporarily inhabiting a generated humanoid shape as a vessel don’t use these equations and are far more difficult to predict.
Third, we must consider the sexual compatibility of species who use sex as a means of gamete exchange, or the divergence in how reproductive material is exchanged between species. If the forms are too dissimilar, the need for medical intervention skyrockets and becomes infinitely more difficult. In some cases, in vitro fertilization is necessary, and extreme dissimilarity may mean that the offspring must be carried to term with some form of cybernetic or completely artificial womb.
I must now ask several personal questions, to be answered on your PADDs and whose results will be made available to all in a short time.
As a reminder, your mid-term projects are due at the beginning of your next class. If you haven’t started, please move into Red-Alert territory. Class dismissed.
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