I am no expert on Dune books, so here is the generic question: what is possible to do with medical procedures?
We can safely assume plastic surgery is no biggie 20k years later…but some more juicy ones:
Non-imperial conditioning? Why not?
Clone/vat grown limb replacements? If there are gholas it may be possilbe…
Biotech, like synthflech, or grown flesh?
Who has what?
I think Imperium and Great House medical tech is really advanced in all ways that don’t require the use of computers, since they don’t have them. That said they do have machinery, so you could have a mechanical arm that does the fine manipulation as long the controlling mechanism is a dude looking through a camera and manipulating things via keyboard or joystick or equivalent.
I also think their theoretical knowledge of biology, genetics, biotech, and such is super advanced yeah.
The thing is who might have the various bits of knoweldge is interesting. I bet some things are known far and wide among the medical groups and Great Houses while other elements are specific to particular Houses and organizations known for it.
Any discussion of medicine in the Imperium has to consider the 3 main factions; The Suk school, Ix & The Bene Tleilaxu.
- The Suk school
The main practitioners of medicine to the Great Houses. Skilled in all the arts of healing and several arts which are not so hippocratic.
I see these people as the ones who will do most of the work and to a far higher standard than ‘modern’ medicine. Vat grown organs and limbs I see as being perfectly feasible, prosthetics equal to ‘modern’ day or slightly better, all sorts of wonder drugs (for healing, relaxation or otherwise)
In a word ‘Cybernetics’. Both the Dune Encyclopedia (Holtzman) and the House Books (Vernier) show characters with heavy cybernetic replacements. They seem restricted to the elites so are presumably horrendously expensive and probably have negative connotations with the poor, but IX can probably fabricate almost anything short of a brain replacement.
Of course go too far and people may start quoting the OC bible at you. Hopefully before they burn you at the stake.
- The Bene Tleilaxu
The masters of the Face Dancers. If it can be done with Genetic Engineering then this lot have probably had a go. Exactly what they are capable is unknown but gholas, twisted Mentats made to order, drugs that have strange effects… Just don’t ask about the axoytyl tanks.
Also like making a mockery of any clients. Hayt’s obviously cybernetic eyes and even his name for instance.
Very good summery, thank you very much!
Does conditioning exist outside the Imperial Conditioning?
I can’t recall anything specifically about non-imperial conditioning in the novels.
Having said that I think it is safe to assume that the Bene Tleilaxu do some form of conditioning with regards to Gholas like Hayt. They were certainly able to set post hypnotic commands to try and make him kill Paul.
Also, with how often the characters refer to Imperial Conditioning being unbreakable it suggests that non-imperial conditioning exisits, but has been broken in the past.
Going to the Dune Encyclopedia (non-canon but a great source) it talks about there being multiple levels of Suk conditioning, the final one being Imperial conditioning and allowing the gold(?) tattoo to signify the user has the highest skill & conditioning. Different colours of tattoo signify lower training.
Thank your for the answers! I will have to digout my Dune Encyclopedia…
Now I have my physical copy of Power & Pawns and had a chance to properly peruse it, I rediscovered that it has a section on the Suk Schools.
It includes a listing of the ranks and while the Houses may only draw from those who are fully qualified Doctors I am sure that you could find various levels of qualifications amongst the wider body of those who have studied at the Suk schools.
It specifically mentions that some Nobles treat it as a solid education for their children without ever intending on them going on to join the inner school and qualify as doctors.
It also talks bout satellite schools on various planets under the aegis of the Kaitain mother house.
I sort of imagine it like the colleges of Oxford University, sort of independent but under an overarching body. (As a side note, check out the college heraldry they are brilliant)