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Gem's species was an empathic humanoid species native to Gem's planet located in the Minarian star system, prior to Minara's supernova in 2268.

These people were a peaceful, pre-spacefaring species who were mute; however, the lack of vocal cords was not a disability, but was physiologically normal for their race. They were not only able to sense the emotions of others, as Betazoids could, but appeared to have an innate desire to help others. They possessed the ability to absorb pain from another person and to heal injuries. Identical wounds then appeared on the Minaran, and they were able to dissipate the absorbed injuries through their own body. Minarans were capable of adapting after contact with other species; if exposed to passion and bravery, they would become passionate and brave. It was not known, however, exactly how empathic Minarans communicated. (TOS: "The Empath")

In 2268, a second, more advanced species from the same system, known as the Vians, used the crew of the USS Enterprise as subjects to test the worthiness of the empathic, dubbed by McCoy as "Gem", for survival in a threatened star system. (TOS: "The Empath", "Turnabout Intruder")

In the Strange New Worlds II short story "The Healing Arts," Gem's species was referred to as the "Anjurwan."

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