A Clone is a sophont genetically identical to a single or donor parent sophont.
- It has the same genes as its parent. Clones fill important social, economic and medical functions in society. Some of those functions are restricted or illegal within the Third Imperium.
- A clone is a biological being that has been reproduced, using advanced genetic engineering techniques, to be genetically-identical to its gene-donor.
- The question of whether a clone is a true sophont is hotly debated by different factions of Imperial society.
Library Data Referral Trees
A clone is a biological copy of an existing being. A full-body clone is an "offspring" created from a single cell in the laboratory, rather than through the normal reproductive process. Such an offspring is a genetic duplicate of the single donor, and thus only has one parent. In all other respects, a full-body clone is identical to a normal offspring; the real oddity is the unnatural manner in which the offspring was conceived.
The clone is its own person, with its own mind just like any child of another. However, initially they have the minds of new-born children, and must be taught and educated just as any normal child.
Clones are often created of Imperial nobles. These are used as heirs until a natural heir is conceived. The polite term for these clones is true-son or true-daughter. For example, Seldrian Aledon is the true-daughter of Duke Norris Aledon of Regina (Regina / Spinward Marches 1920).
The first clones tend to be created from plants by technologies societies that have developed the sciences of biology and botany.
The desire to create clones of animal foodstuffs often follows. Some sophont species have created simple clones of sophisticated multicellular life by TL-7, but others take much longer in their technological development.
The ability to create clones of higher life forms does not occur until TL-10. Using growth quickening techniques an "adult" full-body clone can be grown in an artificial womb in about two years at that tech level. By TL-13, growth time is down to 2 months.
Technology Timeline of Cloning
- (-2800): Genetic technology reaches a point at which cloning can be reliably experimented with, albeit with major caveats and drawbacks. Some of this technology is lost during the Long Night. Clones tend to have abbreviated, short lives.
- (-2600): Clones can be reliably experimented with greatly improved results, but still are not more economically viable than existing livestock husbandry. At some levels, cloning acquires boutique uses such as the recreation of the pets of the rich.
- (-234): Sylean technology begins to match and exceed older (pre-Long Night) Terran technology, allowing for economically viable uses as cutting edge medical technologies.
- (300): Sophisticated cloning technologies are used by the central government of the Third Imperium and on higher technology worlds with widespread applications. Nevertheless, cultural taboos exsit against many of the technology's applications.
- (988): The Imperial Nobility has increasingly embraced the new technologies creating relicts and other extreme medical applications. Widespread application of the technology by the Imperial Military now supercedes many traditional medical applications.
Technology of Genetics
- TL-0 Found Tools Period
- TL–0: Selective breeding of plants. Domestication of trainable beasts
- TL:1-3 Tool Making Epoch
- TL–3: Selective breeding of beasts with minor morpological changes
- TL:4-6 Division of Labor Epoch
- TL–5: Basic understandings of genetics
- TL:7-9 Processor Epoch
- TL:10-12 Gravitics Epoch
- TL:13-15 Biologicals Epoch
- TL:16-18 Artificials Epoch
Major Race Attitudes to Cloning
Humans and Hivers are the only major races to use clones to any large degree. Aslan feel it is dishonourable, K'kree find such a "flesh-growing" technique distasteful, while Droyne and Vargr just don't bother.
- Sophonts being sophonts, there are always exceptions. If one looks widely enough, one will eventually find clones of any major race. Human and Hiver examples are more numerous and easier to find, though.