Wiki Headlines
It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
Cloning Body Parts
Cloning replacement body parts, and just the parts.
Needs Examples Better Name

(permanent link) added: 2012-08-28 07:32:19 sponsor: zarpaulus (last reply: 2013-08-08 09:14:34)

Add Tag:
So, you're missing some limb or organ and are worried about tissue rejection. Don't worry, the doctor can just grow you a new one in this vat here. Oh, and there's no ethical issues to worry about, it's not like this cloned part has a brain, it's just an arm or leg or liver.

Depending on the setting this may be more or less expensive than Artificial Limbs, but it is almost always more culturally acceptable.

Some scientists are working on this in Real Life due to the scarcity of transplantable organs and the problem of immune reactions to transplants. Chimeric organs that could be suitable for transplant have been grown in pigs and sheep while bladders and tracheas have been produced in labs.

Examples

Anime & Manga
  • In Cowboy Bebop Jet is occasionally asked why he got a prosthetic arm instead of a cloned arm.
  • This is possible in the Ghost in the Shell universe (although natural organ transplants are still used and some people opt for cybernetic organs). A company in the first season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex grows cloned organs in genetically engineered pigs for its clients as a combined insurance policy (since you can have the organs implanted in you if there's an accident) and investment (since you can opt to sell your unused cloned organs).

Comic Books
  • Taken to a bizarre extreme in Transmetropolitan, where human body part cloning is so commonplace that a fast food chain called "Long Pig" serves it, and you can even grow your own vice presidential candidate.

Film
  • In The Island customers are told that their "health plans" are brainless vegetables, however for the sake of the story they lied.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: GeneCo makes artificial organs after an epidemic of organ failures, then has assassins repossess them when the patients miss too many payments.
  • In The 6th Day, the benefits of organ cloning is used as a plea to try to drive down the "Sixth Day Laws", that forbid the cloning of complete human beings. In reality, the owner of the cloning corporation only wants to achieve immortality via uploading your memories into the brains of Expendable Clones.

Literature
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's stories about the Howard Families in the far future there are several mentions of cloned parts being grown.
  • This is fairly common in Vorkosigan Saga. Miles gets a whole new set of internal organs after his chest is blown out by a needle grenade, and Aral has to take some time off, waiting for them them to grow him a new heart, after his heart attack. In emergencies, the parts that get installed are often undersized and need to grow in situ, but with advance warning, full sized parts can be grown.
  • Hyperion Cantos mentions it, apparently it is too expensive for most people though.
  • In the Dune prequels the early Tleilaxu were known as suppliers of transplantable organs that they grew on trees. However, while they did do that it didn't provide enough organs to meet demand during the Butlerian Jihad so most of their products were a side of their slaving business.
  • Mentioned to be possible but illegal in the Star Wars Expanded Universe story "Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM". Zuckuss needs a new set of lungs, but because therapeutic cloning is illegal they need a lot of money to get it done on the black market. After they pull a Heel-Face Turn and help out the Rebels, the Rebels reveal they've worked out a way to trigger the regrowth of the damaged tissues that doesn't require cloning.
  • In Oryx and Crake "pigoons" are chimeric pigs with human organs, several human organs in fact, based on one possible method of producing artificial organs.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek: Voyager mentions that replicators are capable of this in some cases. In an early episode the EMH resurrects an alien brain cancer victim by removing the tumor from her brain stem, replicating replacement tissue, then following the standard post-mortem resuscitation procedure for her class of life-forms.

Tabletop Games
  • Shadowrun
    • It is possible for characters to receive replacement body parts or bioware that are specifically clone-grown for them.
    • There are also mass-produced "Type O" transplants produced from the cells of one Owen Whiting who lacks the proteins that trigger immune reactions.
  • Traveller
    • Regrown limbs and basic prosthetics cost the same and have practically the same statistics, the difference is thematic.
    • Megatraveller Journal #3, "Worldguide: Vincennes". On the Tech Level 16 world of Vincennes, cloning of injured and damaged organs and limbs is commonplace.
  • In GURPS: Transhuman Space cybernetics are considered obsolete, nearly everyone waits a couple weeks for a cloned body part instead of just printing off a prosthesis.

Webcomics
  • In Schlock Mercenary prosthetics are generally temporary and only issued when cloning tanks are unavailable or the HMO doesn't cover them.
  • In S.S.D.D it is possible to clone biological body parts, but most CORE troops prefer to upgrade with cybernetics.
  • Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger: Matter Replicators can be used to make replacement organs, at least one company gave employees full scans as part of their medical benefits. And one character used that data to create a full clone of his dead wife.
  • In My Life At War one of the "Gunrat Girls" was sent back to Treadhaven to get a new arm from "the tanks" for two more years on her contract.

Western Animation
  • Sometimes comes up in Futurama like when Fry went to "Handcrafters" after a T. rex feeding accident or more recently when Fry and Leela each had an arm ripped off and the Professor grew them new ones.
  • In "The Engineer's Thumb" of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century Moriarty's organ-legging turns out to be using cloned parts. Which are illegal due to Clone Degeneration.

Real Life
  • Truth in Television or at least it's becoming so. Regenerative medicine is a real science being researched by Biotech companies and the pentagon that can grow replacement organs using a person's cells. They've created beating hearts, ears and bladders, and are working on creating kidneys, livers, lungs and more. This video demonstrates that they have medicine and materials that can trigger processes in the body to regrow severed fingers, and damaged skin.
  • An alternative might be to grow human organs in animals such as pigs by injecting human stem cells into animal embryos.
replies: 53

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy