Fertility doctor says he's on the brink of cloning human: report

Apr 22, 2009

A US-based fertility doctor claimed to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women in an interview published Wednesday.

Panayiotis Zavos told Britain's Independent newspaper that although none of the women had had a viable pregnancy as a result, the first cloned baby could now be born within a couple of years.

"There is absolutely no doubt about it... the cloned child is coming. There is absolutely no way that it will not happen," he said, quoted by the paper.

"If we intensify our efforts, we can have a cloned baby within a year or two, but I don't know whether we can intensify our efforts to that extent."

Zavos's work is widely condemned by mainstream fertility experts, who question whether the technique, which also raises complex ethical questions, is safe.

Although other scientists have created human cloned embryos in test tubes to extract for research, Zavos has broken a taboo by actually putting them inside women's wombs.

He said he has also produced cloned embryos of three dead people, including a 10-year-old girl called Cady who died in a car crash in the US. The child's were frozen and sent to Zavos.

The doctor, a naturalised US citizen born in Cyprus, is thought to have carried out the procedures in a secret laboratory somewhere in the Middle East to escape the US ban on .

He uses the same technique as was used to clone Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.

The procedures were recorded by a documentary maker and will be shown on the Discovery Channel in Britain later Wednesday.

In 2004, Zavos claimed to have implanted the first human cloned embryo into a woman's uterus although scientists then expressed scepticism over a lack of proof about his findings.

(c) 2009 AFP

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sex_doctor
3 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2009
This is nice. Makes males redundant. Woman are just some cloning machines. Sperm is not needed no more.
LariAnn
1 / 5 (1) Apr 22, 2009
This should be allowed in cases where parents lost a child in a tragic accident and they want their child back. Although it is a clone, it is not like making multiple copies of a living person. The only problem I foresee is that the person that clone becomes is not going to be the same as the person who was lost.
Auxon
5 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2009
This should be allowed in cases where parents lost a child in a tragic accident and they want their child back. Although it is a clone, it is not like making multiple copies of a living person. The only problem I foresee is that the person that clone becomes is not going to be the same as the person who was lost.


That would be such a horrible thing to do, because as you said, it's not the same person. It's simply a twin. To try to replace a dead child in that way would be perverse. It's fine to want another child, but I'd want a different one, not one the same as possible. What are we, 4 years old and can't handle death, like replacing a dead cat with another one that looks the same? In either case, it wouldn't fool anyone, if that was the goal.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Apr 22, 2009
This is nice. Makes males redundant. Woman are just some cloning machines. Sperm is not needed no more.


Yeah if you want the genetic diversity of hill people...

Moreover, the technology for making an artificial womb is more difficult, but is no more than 20-50 years away at the very most...
Szkeptik
not rated yet Apr 22, 2009
I can understand cloning embryos to harvest stem cells, but why the hell bring them to term? Like there aren't too many humans here already.
thales
not rated yet Apr 22, 2009
From the Human Genome Project cloning fact sheet at http://www.ornl.g...ml#risks

"Cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher rates of infection, tumor growth, and other disorders. Japanese studies have shown that cloned mice live in poor health and die early. About a third of the cloned calves born alive have died young, and many of them were abnormally large. Many cloned animals have not lived long enough to generate good data about how clones age. Appearing healthy at a young age unfortunately is not a good indicator of long-term survival. Clones have been known to die mysteriously. For example, Australia's first cloned sheep appeared healthy and energetic on the day she died, and the results from her autopsy failed to determine a cause of death."
Damon_Hastings
not rated yet Apr 22, 2009
"Cloned animals tend to have more compromised immune function and higher rates of infection, tumor growth, and other disorders."

Maybe so, but they also make great armies... :-)
el_gramador
not rated yet Apr 23, 2009
That fall apart very quickly afterwards.

The only problem is that if you clone something, you clone it at the age it was at, not the age younger. So you inherently absorb problems from trying to create a human clone. Though I don't think it's impossible to counteract that shortcoming.
VOR
not rated yet Apr 23, 2009
as outrageous as it sounds, I fantasize about the idea of being cloned, with some minor genetic corrections (including longer life and enhanced telemeres etc) compatable with my immune system, blood, etc. Then that clone is somehow ethically grown with no awareness of its existence or environment whatsover, yet still healthy (I know its purely hypothetical). then the entire body is harvested by transplanting my elderly brain into the 20 yr old body. sweet. lol
Sparkygravity
not rated yet Apr 26, 2009
I have the same fantasy.
Quasimodo
not rated yet Apr 26, 2009
Clone clone of my own
With the Y-chromosome changed to X
And when it is grown
My very own clone
It will be of the opposite sex

H B Quasimodo and others
EdP
not rated yet Apr 26, 2009
I think this is wrong. It is Eugenics being done for different reasons.

http://en.wikiped...Eugenics
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2009
el gramador-what do you mean by "you clone it at the age it was at"? From m yunderstanding, all clones ever created and actually brought ot life were all implanted in an embryo and brought to term using the natural method, the only unnatural part is the duplicate growing inside the womb...whether that be animal or human, that still applies. A clone has to grow just like we do after all...its not like we throw them in an incubation chamber for a few days and bam, they pop out at 10 year old sheep (althought htat would be cool).


VOR-sounds like you watched a little too much of the movie "The Island" :D Good dang movie...but I think I'd end up killing my clone myself...
Suzu
not rated yet Apr 26, 2009
Better idea is to make a clone, transfer your brain into your cloned younger body, Bam. Longer life.
LuckyBrandon
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2009
Suzu-now there is one hell of an idea that I too have thought of. Great minds must think alike after all.....

I had forgot to mention in my earlier comments though, reading back, that I DO believe genetic engineering is the way to improve our species 100 fold, and in such as short time that people woulodnt have time to blink to realize whats been done. A true clone of a current human, I see as useless other than replacment of "real human" organs to make real humans survive longer. BUT, it does constitute one hell of a factor...how do you control an ever growing population if a false population is being created on top.


Oh and being ex infantry, I do acknowledge the significance of the earlier statement that theyd make one hell of an army. Imagine taking a soldier with vast combat experience (and survival experience), cloning him (and yes, it would be a him, not to sound feminist, but no female has a place in GROUND combat...too damned distracting), and putting 100,000 if him in the field....I foresee us winning war after war....after war....
Atomicat
not rated yet Apr 27, 2009
@LuckBrandon: I must say that biology is not my thing but two things to look up would be telomeres and the relatively new field of epigenetics. Telomere's are 'tips' of chromosomes, one of which is discarded during each cell division thus limiting how many times a cell can divide. I don't know if epigenetics has reared it's head in the field of cloning yet but look it up, it's very interesting with huge implications.

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