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"I kind of take it for granted that our great-grandchildren will regard us as a sort of precursor species. That they won't think of us as human and if we could see them, we probably wouldn't think of them as human either."
- William Gibson

Axolotl Tank  
  A device to regenerate or reshape organic material.  

A small group plots against Paul Atreides; one of their tools is a ghola, a product of expert regrowth and regeneration.

"Even in defeat," Edric said, "your father's Sardaukar did not abandon wisdom. Let us suppose a wise Sardaukar commander recognized the swordmaster in a corpse his men had slain. What then? There exist uses for such flesh and training . . . if one acts swiftly..."

"A Tleilaxu ghola," Irulan whispered...

...Edric said. "...let us assume that our wise Sardaukar commander had Idaho's corpse preserved for the axolotl tanks. Why not? This corpse held the flesh and nerves of one of the finest swordsmen in history, an adviser to the Atreides, a military genius. What a waste to lose all that training and ability when it might be revived as an instructor for the Sardaukar."

...

This was a Tleilaxu thing. The Tleilaxu displayed a disturbing lack of inhibitions in what they created. Unbridled curiosity might guide their actions. They boasted they could make anything from the proper human raw material -- devils or saints. They sold killer-mentats. They'd produced a killer medic, overcoming the Suk inhibitions against the taking of human life to do it. Their wares included willing menials, pliant sex toys for any whim, soldiers, generals, philosophers, even an occasional moralist.

Technovelgy from Dune Messiah, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1969
Additional resources -

Axolotl tanks are a closely guarded secret of the Bene Tleilax, genetic engineers of the planet Tleilax. Even the name is misleading. A clue is provided in Heretics of Dune and Chapterhouse: Dune; no one has ever seen a Tleilaxu female.

Females are taken and transformed into special wombs used by the Bene Tleilax to produce their biological products. This is a continuing theme for Herbert; see also his procreative stump from his 1972 book Hellstrom's Hive.

Compare to the emergency treatment tank from Agent of Vega (1949) by James Schmitz, the regeneration tank from Contagion (1950) by Katherine MacLean, Gobathian from Time is the Simplest Thing (1961) by Clifford Simak, the autodoc from The Warriors (1966) by Larry Niven and the crechepod from The Godmakers (1972) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune Messiah
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune Messiah
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Axolotl Tank-related news articles:
  - Limb Regeneration Grows Closer

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