Consciousness ARISE in the mental body (manomaya kaya or gandhabba for humans and animals.)
The gandhabba is the essential part, not the physical body.
– When one gets a human bhava, one gets a corresponding mental body (gandhabba). That can last many thousands of years.
“Bhava and Jāti – States of Existence and Births Therein”
– Within that time gandhabba can be born with a physical human body many times. When one physical body dies, the gandhabba comes out of that dead body and waits for another suitable womb with a compatible zygote.
These concepts are explained in:
“Buddhist Explanations of Conception, Abortion, and Contraception”
“Cloning and Gandhabba”
The key point is that a gandhabba can NEVER be created in a laboratory. A sentient life ALWAYS comes from a pre-existing sentient life.
– Modern science (a laboratory) may be able to create a “zygote-like” entity (which is just the right “chemical composition”) for the gandhabba to start making a new physical body. In fact, cloning is a crude form of that.
– But a gandhabba only comes a previous existing life (in any of the 31 realms.)
– For example when a deva or a brahma dies and if the next birth is as human, then at that instant a “human gandhabba” is created by kammic energy.