Cloning (sometimes referred to as self-duplication and replication) is the ability to replicate, producing identical clones.
- Evan was the first person to demonstrate this ability.
- Julien Dumont has also demonstrated this ability.
- Magdalena Muller also has demonstrated this ability.
- Eli also has this ability.
- An unknown occupant of Level 5 has this ability.
- The child of Julien Dumont and Sabine Hazel supposedly has a variation of this ability.
- Lauren Gilmore mentions hunting down a cloner in Tulsa.
Evan can create several clones of himself and claims to be able to create thousands. The clones physically emerge from his body. They are all capable of independent thought and actions, and each is apparently capable of producing his own clones.
Evan's imperfections are cloned, as well. For instance, Evan has a scar over his right eye. Every one of Evan's clones has the same scar.
Evan's ability also clones most of the clothes he is wearing and the weapons he is carrying. Evan's clones usually appear without his hat, implying that he has some control over what objects are cloned. Some of the clothes on Evan's clones appear to be different, indicating he may be able to alter the items he clones or clone items that he is not wearing or touching. Whether or not the ability can be used to clone other living things is unknown.
Adam Monroe believes that if he kills the true Evan, the "source" of the clones, then all the clones will die as wel. However, it is unclear if this is true.
It is also unknown as to whether the source and his clones are able to merge themselves back together or if they remain permanently separated.
Julien Dumont, known as the "root" to the Company, has the ability to vegetatively create clones. According to his assignment tracker profile at primatechpaper.com, Dumont appears to generate replicants through cellular mitosis, similar to a fungus. In Root and Branch, Part 3, however, a clone appears to emerge out of his own body, in a way similar to Evan in Revolutionary War, Part 2. His clones can be injured, even fatally, without causing physical harm to the root Dumont.
Dumont's offshoots develop rapidly and are biologically identical to Julien after they are fully grown. Mature clones exhibit a degree of independent thought and personality: the Company has deployed replicants for a wide variety of field work, though some clones have gone rogue. A big bag and tag mission was conducted in 2007 to hunt down and collect many of these rogue cones and to confine them in a cell at Primatech Research. The root's loyalty towards the Company is unknown, but the root is confined to a room in Primatech Research where he has tubes and monitoring equipment attached to his body.
However, the offshoots also share a hive-like collective mind, in which the root Dumont appears to play a centric role. The company believes that if the root Dumont were killed, all of the offshoots would instantly die, as demonstrated in Into the Wild, Part 3. The offshoots do appear to have a strong connection to the root, as the clones experience intense pain when Sabine frees and awakens the root Julien into a severe state of shock.
The clones pretending to be Sabine's partner claims that the root can sense the location of his clones, and feels a pain--like a limb being torn off--when one of the root's clones dies. He also says that the clones, or "branches", would not feel if another clone died, only the root would feel it if the branches died.
When the root Dumont is in a weakened or otherwise altered state, the personalities of mature offshoots become more dominant. Immature offshoots, on the other hand, are highly receptive to programming. New offshoots created during such a period experience high degrees of psychological and emotional vulnerability and are susceptible to coercion or imprinting.
Julien's ability appears to be limited to cloning his own body. While Julien was wearing pants, the cone he created to draw gunfire while he escaped emerged without any clothes.
Magdalena's clones can also exist at great distance from her. While one clone of Magdalena was held hostage in Florida, she traveled to Costa Verde, California. She can also have at least three clones at the same time. Mags cloned herself twice more in Costa Verde with the remaining clone still in Florida.
Magdalena also can decrease the number of clones she has created. While in Florida, two clones grabbed each other's hands and suddenly there was only one Mags. The event left her standing, exhaling a deep breath.
Eli can create multiple copies of himself. When cloning, he also seems to be able to clone objects. In Prodigals, Part 1, he cloned himself multiple times, and all of the clones were holding the gun that the original Eli was holding. Eli's clones do not appear to have blood or bones, just a shell made of skin. Noah claims that the clones can all be destroyed by killing the "Prime" Eli, similar to Evan and Julien. Eli appears to require active concentration to keep his duplicates active, as they all disappeared when he was rendered unconscious. Eli's clones can exist at a significant distance from the Prime but claim that it is not good for them to be away from him for long. The clones also disappear when defeated. For this to happen, all they need to be is merely knocked out, as shown when Noah Bennet tasered a couple and they immediately dissolved.
Eli can make his clones appear anywhere in his close vicinity and can make them disappear at will. Joseph Sullivan also claimed he could tell which clone was the Prime Eli. This suggests that there is a marker that differentiates the Prime from the rest of the clones, however, the exact mechanism is unknown.
Eli's clones do not possess actual thoughts, so they can't be manipulated by telepaths. The Prime, however, can still be manipulated. This was shown when Matt tried to use telepathy to stop a bunch of clones from killing him, but failed and nearly died until Peter and Sylar knocked out the Prime. In contrast, Peter was able to read the Prime's mind to learn Samuel's plans and Matt was able to brainwash the Prime against Samuel.