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

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


Explore further

Italian doctor says he has cloned three babies

Citation: Fertility doctor says he's on the brink of cloning human: report (2009, April 22) retrieved 22 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-fertility-doctor-brink-cloning-human.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Apr 22, 2009
This is nice. Makes males redundant. Woman are just some cloning machines. Sperm is not needed no more.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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."

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... :-)

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
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

Apr 26, 2009
I have the same fantasy.

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

Apr 26, 2009
Better idea is to make a clone, transfer your brain into your cloned younger body, Bam. Longer life.

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.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more