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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Uterine Replicator  
  A device that simulates the functions of the human uterus.  

The medtech smiled sourly. "We're returning these to the senders."

Vorkosigan walked around the pallet. "Yes, but what are they?"

"All your bastards," said the medtech.

Cordelia, catching the genuine puzzlement in Vorkosigans's voice, added, "They're uterine replicators, um, Admiral. Self-contained, independently powered - they need servicing, though -"

"Every week," agreed the medtech..."

"They're all alive in there?"

"Sure. See all the green lights? Placentas and all. They float right in their amnionic sacs, just like home..."

"...Floating fetuses - babies in cans..."

From Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold.
Published by Baen Books in 1986
Additional resources -

Compare to the artificial womb from Aldous Huxley's 1932 novel Brave New World and the procreative stump from Frank Herbert's 1972 novel Hellstrom's Hive.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Shards of Honor
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