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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.
is this trope taken to the extreme
, where an entire person is created solely for the purpose of harvesting their organs for another.
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Anime and 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).
- 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.
- Lobster Random has an arm cloned for him after cutting off his left arm, which he reckons takes a decade off the average age of his entire body. He chops it off after getting cuffed.
- In the backstory to Bait and Switch (STO) Captain Kanril Eleya had to have her right kidney replaced with a replicated copy after a knife wound sustained fighting off a Boarding Party.
- 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.
- The regrow tanks in Earth Girl can restore legs, arms, 98% of a person's skin and significantly injured internal organs. As long as your brain did not get squashed, you'd probably survive just fine.
- In Larry Niven's Known Space series this technology eventually ended the practice of organlegging.
- Star Trek: Voyager mentions that replicators are capable of this in some cases. In the early episode "Emanations" 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.
- Defied in "Phage", when after his own stupidity lead him to walk into a Vidiian ambush and have his lungs stolen, Neelix cannot have them replicated as they are too complicated. This forces the Doctor to develop holographic lungs as a temporary measure until the crew can either track down his stolen organs or find a compatible donor.
- The episode "Young At heart" from The X-Files had a scientist trying to do this to prisoners (and removing the limbs from them so he could try to clone new ones) using salamander DNA mixed with human. You can probably guess how well this turned out.
- In the Firefly episode "The Message" Mal and Zoe's war buddy Tracy has a job smuggling cloned organs. They're illegal because, according to Simon, the technology isn't ready or fully approved yet, so smuggling them requires implanting them in a host, who doubles as an incubator.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dead Space: Overlaps with Walking Transplant. USG Ishimura has a whole section dedicated to replacing limbs since it's a mining vessel where injuries can happen very frequently. This facility contains tubes full of green liquid which have infants floating in them. It's never explained if they are conscious or not, and how the process works. But since we never see any clones of a different age, it suggests they are simply organ farms without higher mental functions.
- In MassEffect, during the first game Garrus asks Shepard for help tracking down a Salarian Mad Scientist who was cloning his patient's organs for the black market, growing them inside of individuals and not removing them if they failed to develop properly.
- In Mass Effect 2, it's implied that during the Lazarus Project, Shepard's skin and possibly eyes might have been replaced via cloning.
- In Mass Effect 3, a background conversation at Heurta Memorial Hospital reveals that the soldier Shepard helped free from a trapped girder during the prologue, unfortunately is going to have their limb amputated. However the Doctor assures them that if they're lucky, they could have a replacement cloned limb ready for grafting within the next six months.
- 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.
- 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.
- Starscream of Transformers Prime loses his Transformation Cog and struggles to find ways to compensate for his new handicap. After cloning himself to create loyal minions fails, he harvests the T-Cog of one of his dead clones as a replacement.
- 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, and muscle tissues.
- There's also the growing field of Bioprinting. 3D printers that lay out living cells.
- An alternative might be to grow human organs in animals such as pigs by injecting human stem cells into animal embryos.
- They've made a spray on skin gun that regenerates skin (considered the body's largest organ) using a person's stem cells from their skin, and turning it into a gel or a spray. It already works, only takes 90 minutes to prepare, and only needs an hour to heal the skin. Whereas skin grafting can take weeks. One reason it's not on the market yet is because they want to improve it to be able regrow everything, from hair to restoring the tissue of internal organs during operations.