"'Bokanovsky's Process,' repeated the Director, and the students underlined the words"
In vitro fertilisation of a human egg cell
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeIn vitro fertilisation of a human egg cell - Credit: Eermolovich/Wikimedia Commons

The fictional process by which, from a single fertilized egg in vitro, multiple identical twins can be duplicated and grown to make multiple, identical human beings.

Bokanovsky's Process may be fictional, but in vitro fertilisation is real. During the 1930s, when Brave New World was published, in vitro fertilisation was still a developing idea, with experiments performed on the oocytes (immature egg cells) of rabbits.  Later, the process of in vitro fertilisation was applied to humans, with the first baby born from this process in 1978. In vitro fertilisation is now used to help couples conceive. The woman's ova (eggs) are removed from the body and fertilised by the man's sperm in a test tube or petri dish. Babies conceived in this way are often referred to colloquially as 'test tube babies.' The fertilised eggs are placed back into the woman's uterus to develop and be born in the normal way, unlike the babies grown in bottles in Huxley's Brave New World.

Human cloning, which is employed in Bokanovsky's Process to create many identical human beings, is also theoretically possible, though currently prohibited. However, animal cloning is not banned, and many different species have been successfully cloned. Click here for a list of animals that have been cloned.