This is a dream sequence for people who have injured or lost fingers, limbs or organs:
The Fifth Element was released in 1997 and the CGI looks dated now, but the costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier are still too haute couture for everyday wear. Anyway, the concept behind this scene is fascinating.
An alien but rather cute looking evil-fighting plot device gets completely destroyed in a spaceship dogfight. However, a small piece of the creature – a heavily gloved palm – is recovered. The DNA structure of the remains is different from human: it copies itself many times like a good infrastructure data backup. And this pays off: the scientist team reconstruct and eventually reanimate whole body.
The process is beautifully presented. Have you ever heard of 3D printers? They create 3d objects out of plain paper. This is achieved in a rather simple, yet efficient way.
The exact implementation may vary, but the basic concept is the same: special software commands the printer to cut slices of the 3d figure. One slice is one paper sheet. The sheets are then glued together. Remove the paper dust, and enjoy your object in 3d.
The Fifth Element is reconstructed in very much the same way. First the manipulators stick together slices of head and bones. Then another devices prints on the tissues. The final capsule glues on the skin. All of this is constructed according to the DNA, resulting in zero rejection probability. Yes, this is perfect.
Of course, this is fiction and doesn’t cover some vital aspects as of the memory and knowledge. Humans get their DNA at conception, and their mind and memories afterwards. Consciousness is not stored in the DNA.
However, while watching this scene I can’t help thinking of disaster victims, like those of 9/11. Lots of human remains were collected at Ground Zero and other sites. Later on, these were identified by matching their DNA with the DNA found on tooth and hair brushes in the supposed victims homes.
With technology like that, we could not only recover lost fingers, limbs, organs and prolong our healthy lives, but even recover our beloved ones who passed too early.
I leave the ethical questions of such acts for you to think of.