In the Commonwealth saga, where as humans get older they start to seek rejuvenation to return to their biological twenties and effectively live forever, and in the Void trilogy where Biononics allow the user almost complete bodily autonomy including desired biological age, it is not uncommon for the citizens to have children across multiple lives (rejuves).

My question is whether it is ever explained either in the books or externally by the author how this is possible, because whilst males should be able to have children effectively indefinitely, females should eventually run out of eggs and with the descriptions of rejuvenation "resetting" biological age (and more so with biononics) the eggs needed to have children don't seem to be "replenished" for lack of a better word.

1 Answer 1


I don't believe ova are specifically referenced. The rejuvenation process is described in Misspent Youth as being based around resetting DNA from the individual to a younger age, and then vectoring it in to every cell in the body.

Researchers were aiming for the ability to vector new and complete DNA strands into every component of the human body. It was DNA copied from the patient, then engineered back to the state of late adolescence, before they began losing telomeres and suffering replication errors.

There is clearly something more to it than that, as the end result is resetting the body entirely to a younger age, which a simple DNA reset of each cell would not achieve - excess weight is lost, hair follicles are restored, lost teeth regrow, etc.

Jeff Baker grinned at himself, revealing teeth that were perfectly straight and white.

It seems that the technique is based on a DNA reset, but the full technique then uses the 'young' DNA as a template to restore the entire body to a younger age - including ovarian follicles.

In the Commonwealth novels, rejuvenation appears to work as a reverse aging process - it takes time to reset to any given age, and less time in rejuvenation will take less years off as described in Pandora's Star:

He’d returned from his partial rejuvenation on Augusta having had about fifteen years taken off his age.

So again, it's not a simple DNA reset - there is a process that gradually reverses the impact of aging, with nothing to suggest it would not work on ovaries as well as any other part of the body.

The Dreaming Void makes a similar claim for biononics:

the body doesn’t age biologically after you hit twenty-five.

Again, it doesn't just claim lack of cellular ageing, but no biological ageing - with no distinction between the ovaries and any other part of the body.

  • While human females are born with 1-2million potential eggs, these actually die off at a rate where only 300,000 on average are left by the time puberty is reached, and then thousands die per month until menopause. So its not just a question of restoring ovarian follicles to a younger age, it would actually mean replacing them - but given they've solved the other issues, it wouldn't be a stretch to think that they've resolved the issue of creating new eggs from stem cells (which has been demonstrated in mice in the real world).
    – Moo
    Apr 18 at 0:52
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    If the process can restore the number of hair follicles, no reason it can't do the same for ovarian follicles. It's just a bit hand-wavy on how this is accomplished. All parts of the body, including the ovaries, are reset to the state they were in at a younger age.
    – Michael
    Apr 18 at 5:56
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    And don't forget about Bellisario's Maxim. A good scifi author never lets limitation of the real world interfere with good worldbuilding. A technology like age reversal doesn't need to be plausible in the context of real-world biology. It just needs to be plausible in the context of the world the author created.
    – Philipp
    Apr 18 at 10:23

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