Recom

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The term recom is a shortened (slang) version of the word recombinant, and refers to a type of animal-human hybrid that is created by re-combining genetic material samples take from humans and animals. In the stories created by Mark Merlino, the process originally involved manipulation of actual samples of genetic material from live donors. The resulting blastula were then grown in artificial wombs to be born as morphic hybrids. This process was crude and often resulted in horrible mistakes. The original laboratories creating recoms were involved in secret military projects, and therefore information about their failures were as unknown as information about the recoms themselves.

After the existence of the recoms was made public by an investigative reporter, the recom “industry” was forced to become legitimate and responsible. Genetitech in New York, and the Advanced Genetic Research Institute (AGRI) in Yorba Linda, CA developed complex computer modeling to “test” the process of creating recoms, and Genetitech invented a system to construct genetic material from “scratch”, using a huge database including the genomes of thousands of animals. This process, which Genetitech licensed to other labs, along with the AGRI computer modeling, made it possible to create recoms without costly and horrible mistakes. It also allowed for the creation of totally “new” species, such as the practical and handsome Silkie and the radical and fantastic Felinsect.

Even though the new species are essentially “scratch-built”, they are still considered recoms, as the genetic building blocks use to create them are obtained from the genomes of existing natural animals and human.

The term was in common usage within the SF-oriented storyboards of FurNet (FidoNet) in the 1980s. Most of the population of Furscape MUCK consists of recoms.

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