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I'm writing a story about a genetically engineered human/alien hybrid race that was created by an advanced alien species. They were able to do this because earth and hundreds of other planets in the galaxy were seeded millions of years ago by an ancient progenitor species using their own DNA so although humans and these aliens were designed and evolved differently, they still share similar base DNA.

Hybrids are possible, but only through genetic manipulation. Humans were built to be almost identical to the progenitor race so creating hybrids with humans is usually more successful than with other species.

These particular hybrids were designed to be able to adapt in real-time to various different environments (eg, re-configuring their respiratory systems to function effectively in lower or higher oxygen environments), their DNA was also redesigned to be able to hybridize more effectively, eliminating the need for genetic manipulation to produce viable offspring between them and other races from the progenitor line.

I'm just wondering if it makes sense or is biologically feasible for something like that to happen (bearing in mind that in this world matter manipulation exists and is relatively easy to do), and if it is, what is a good way to explain this that doesn't sound like Handwavium.

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Your explanation contains internal contradictions. First you state

Hybrids are possible, but only through genetic manipulation.

then you state

their DNA was also redesigned to be able to hybridize more effectively, eliminating the need for genetic manipulation to produce viable offspring between them and other races from the progenitor line.

That apart, I think you are confusing some concepts.

  • The genetic code of different organisms is not that different, if not for some percent. We share 50% of our human genes with bananas!
  • adapting to different environmental conditions (like aerobic or anaerobic respiration) requires often different biochemistry, which is not a sole matter of DNA
  • adaptation to the environment is not reflected in DNA (Schwarzenegger and the post office secretary can generate fertile prole, even though one is more adapted to lifting weight than the other)

Probably the best way to explain it is to postulate the availability of stem cells, which adapt to the specific task which the organism has to perform in certain circumstances, like growing a shell or a boneless tentacle.

Just don't go into too many details: the more you explain, the more you tingle the suspension of disbelief.

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Compare it to ant like polymorphism

Ants of a single species come in many forms with different adaptations: soldiers, workers, nursery ants, queens, drones, etc. One peculiarity is that when they breed, they produce these offspring in the proportions that they need based on the environment. If they are low on food, they breed more gatherers, if they are at war with another colony, the breed more soldiers.

For an interstellar species, they may breed different forms based on things like gravity temperature, and atmospheric conditions.

In your scenario, Humans are actually a single configuration of this species that we breed under Earth like conditions. Because humans have only breed this one form for so long, we've lost the ability to activate the genes for the other forms, but by hybridizing with the original race, we are able to reactive those other forms in our reproductive processes.

The reason humans are better suited for this than the other forms is that we are the form that was breed to sort of survive anywhere, but not well. Our form was designed to always be the first wave of colonists. Normally, the human form would show up but then our offspring would be the specialist form, but something about Earth just made us keep breeding the colonist species as the ideal form.

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