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Cloning Body Parts

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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 (equally functional) 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.

Walking Transplant 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 

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd: Cloning technology has developed to the point where both cloning full people and body parts is possible. Judge Logan is able to get a new arm after losing it in the line of duty.
  • Lobster Random: Lobster 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.
  • This is taken to a bizarre extreme in Transmetropolitan — 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.

    Fan Works 
  • In the backstory to Bait and Switch (STO), now-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 a AU/RPF involving the Spice Girls, Case of the Missing Technology, knowing her original organs were sold on the Black Market, Melanie C had them cloned to replace them, thanks to the help of a bio-medical 3D printer. The narrator explains such technology was developed by the military in order to help the soldiers with severe combat injuries, allowing them to recover with less pain and reduce time or probabilities of organ rejection.
  • In Reality Is Fluid, Lieutenant Commander Reshek Gaarra has to have both his lungs replaced with replicated copies after injuries sustained in an EPS conduit explosion.
  • A Certain Droll Hivemind: Misaka-11111 mentions that many of the organs from the dead Sisters were donated to those who needed them. The Network decided they don't have a problem with this; after all, they don't need the organs any more. They did, however, ask why Academy City couldn't just clone up individual organs for each recipient; they have the technology, it's far less morally dubious, and there would be no chance of rejection. They don't get an answer.
    Misaka-11111: We are not sure why, if it was so cheap to produce a new Sister, Academy City does not grow organs for use in hospitals from and for the intended patient. It would mean that no one would need to die, and also negate the chance of rejection. We suspect, once more, that there was widespread fraud involved in our creation, and that the formally listed costs have no relationship to reality whatsoever.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The 6th Day, the benefits of organ cloning are 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 his memories into the brains of Expendable Clones.
  • This is the business model for the company in The Island (2005), cloning client's body parts into a mindless sack for organ donations. Unfortunately for their bottom line, they discovered that without proper stimulation these sacks inevitably die, so they just went with full clones and started lying to them and the public.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • This is mentioned in the Hyperion Cantos. However, it is apparently too expensive for most people.
  • In Known Space, this technology eventually ends the practice of organlegging.
  • In Legends of Dune, the early Tleilaxu are known as suppliers of transplantable organs that they grow on trees. However, while this is true, it doesn't provide enough organs to meet demand during the Butlerian Jihad, so most of their products are a side of their slaving business.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's stories about the Howard Families in the far future, there are several mentions of cloned parts being grown, starting with synthetic blood in Methuselah's Children and getting up to full body replacement by Time Enough for Love 2,000 years later.
  • 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.
  • In The Pride of Parahumans, the bioprinting processes that were used to produce the parahumans can also make individual organs. Argentum has the intestine and liver damaged by a harpoon to the torso replaced by bioprinting but opts for a prosthetic hand that is quicker to retrain.
  • In the Rihannsu novel Honor Blade, Dr. McCoy is shown harvesting tissue from an injured Romulan to grow him some replacement organs, including a new heart.
  • Mentioned to be possible but illegal in the Tales of the Bounty Hunters 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.
  • This is fairly common in the 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 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Expanse, cloned limbs and organs are readily available to Inner Worlders with enough money, or a military health plan, but Belters are often forced to make do with prosthetics.
  • 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.
  • The Mandalorian: Doctor Pershing explains that this is the reason he got into cloning research; his mother died of heart failure, and if their planet had the ability to clone organs, it simply wouldn't have been an issue. Pershing's own research focuses more on LEGO Genetics; the implication is that cloned replacement organs are common on more prosperous planets, but his own homeworld just didn't have that sort of infrastructure.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Replica", the company TranGennix receives a $1 billion contract to produce cloned organs. The process is developed by the husband-and-wife team of Zach and Nora Griffiths, who own TranGennix with Peter Chandler.
  • Star Trek: Series post-TOS occasionally mention this.
    • Doctor Bashir mentions cloning organs in season 7 of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and also requests a sample from Odo (a shapeshifter) so that Starfleet Medical can investigate being able to replicate suitable organs before battles without having to worry about matching types too much.
    • Star Trek: Voyager mentions that Matter Replicators are capable of this in some cases.
      • Averted in "Phage"; after his own stupidity leads 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.
      • In "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.
  • The X-Files: The episode "Young at Heart" has a scientist trying to do this to prisoners (and removing their limbs so that he can try to clone new ones) using salamander DNA mixed with human. You can probably guess how well this turns out.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In BattleTech, the highest echelons of the old Star League and the modern Clans have access to this level of tech, but it's LosTech elsewhere.
  • In Eclipse Phase, most parts can be regenerated after a few days in a Healing Vat — a severed head can get a new body in a week or two. There are also "Pods" that are Artificial Humans assembled from vat-cultured organs and cybernetics as a cheaper alternative to purely biological biomorphs.
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones, replacing limbs counts as General Surgery, as does adding tails or other non-prehensile appendages; a second pair of arms or legs requires Augmentation Surgery that costs twice as much. You can get an Artificial Limb, but it costs five times more than regeneration and has no special advantages aside from concealing weapons, being more of a fashion statement than anything.
  • 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.
  • In Transhuman Space, cybernetics are considered obsolete; nearly everyone waits a couple weeks for a cloned body part instead of just printing off a prosthesis.
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • 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; however, since we never see any clones of a different age, it suggests that they are simply organ farms without higher mental functions.
  • The Halo games have this in their lore, in a process called "Flash cloning". It can recreate organs, skin, and even blood in a short amount of time with the use of cells from the same area, preventing transplant rejection because the body will still recognize it as its "organ". The facilities used can be the size of a shoe box, and the process can even clone entire human beings, though they suffer from accelerated aging or medical problems as they get older and start to wear out due to the process not being designed to create such a large number of cells. This was used in an unusual way by Dr. Catherine Halsey, who cloned her own brain to use as the basis for Cortana.
  • Loopmancer revolves around a scientific breakthrough from Tompson Technologies, a bio-tech Mega-Corp who managed to recreate perfect human limbs and organs from chimpanzees. Until you found out the truth in a later stage - turns out the organs aren't cloned from apes, but from Human Resources, when you uncover Tompson's underground labs filled with imprisoned humans.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect, 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.
  • Coroner and mortician John Dresden in Shadowrun Returns claims that transplants harvested from dead bodies are becoming a dying business because grown transplants are just cheaper. Dresden still has business because the company he works for, Organ Grinders, also functions as a morgue.

  • 21st Century Fox: Both cloning and bionics are available, but the rehabilitation is longer with cloned limbs, which was why Tora Scobee went with bionics after his accident even though he hated himself for the decision later.
  • 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.
  • 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. One character uses that data to create a full clone of his dead wife.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, prosthetics are generally temporary and only issued when cloning tanks are unavailable or the HMO doesn't cover them. Played for Laughs with the slogan of one popular body-part cloner:
    Hand Me Down will give you a hand in the time it takes our competitors to give you the finger.
  • In S.S.D.D., it is possible to clone biological body parts, but most CORE troops prefer to upgrade with cybernetics.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: This sometimes comes up.
    • In "I Dated a Robot", Fry goes to "Handcrafters" to get new hands sewed on after losing the originals in a T. rex feeding accident.
    • In a later episode, Fry and Leela each have an arm ripped off and the Professor grows them new ones.
    • When Fry's nose gets stolen right off his face in "Spanish Fry", Leela suggests letting the Professor clone him a new one, but Fry refuses, saying that "It wouldn't be the same, I don't wanna teach a new one how to shoot milk when I laugh."
  • Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century: In "The Engineer's Thumb", Moriarty's organ-legging turns out to be using cloned parts, which are illegal due to Clone Degeneration.
  • Transformers: Prime: Starscream 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.

    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, and muscle tissues. One of the benefits is reverse-engineering a person's skin cells to clone other organs, practically removing the chance of organ rejection.
  • 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 to regrow everything, from hair to restoring the tissue of internal organs during operations.

Alternative Title(s): Therapeutic Cloning