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If the Phage destroys the genetic material & the organs of any Vidiian that is infected with the disease, then how are the Vidiians able to reproduce ?

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There are multiple references in various sourcebooks (notably the Official Trek Encyclopedia) indicating that the Phage disease is an infectious virus which one can be contracted at any point in a Vidiian's lifecycle. Vidiians are therefore not born with the condition, nor does it appear to be 100% infectious or the death rate would be far in excess of 2000+ a year.

Given that this race has lived with the condition for nearly two millennia, it follows that even if the disease immediately + instantly prevented reproduction in an infected person (which is by no means certain), there would still be a considerable number of Vidiians who are diagnosed with Phage infection after they've reached maturity and were thus able to breed.

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  1. Cloning. DNA is in every cell of the body. Find an undamaged cell, use it to clone a new organism. We know the Federation is capable of such cloning and the Vidiians are ahead of the Federation in medical technology.

  2. The normal way. When two Vidiians love each other very much... There's nothing about genetic damage alone that precludes reproduction. All organisms experience genetic damage to some degree throughout their lifetimes, be it from viral infection, chemical mutagens, cosmic rays or the decay of naturally occurring radioisotopes such as carbon-13. Impairment of bodily functions depends on the degree of damage, which in turn depends on how quickly cells are damaged measured against the body's ability to repair damage. As damage accumulates in the primary sex organs fertility decreases and eventually reaches zero, but until then you might consider the phage a stressor that selects Vidiians for fecundity.

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  • There's no indication that the Vidiians are clones. Aside from their well-equipped cloning facility obviously. I'll shut up now.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 at 6:32

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