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Thread: "First Human Clone"

  1. #1

    "First Human Clone"

    Wasn't quite sure which forum to post this to - please move it if felt appropriate.

    BBC News website
    Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 01:25 GMT

    'First human clone' due in January

    Advocates argue cloning can help infertile couples

    A controversial Italian doctor has announced that the first cloned human baby will be born in January 2003.

    The doctor, Severino Antinori, said three women he had been treating were carrying cloned embryos in advanced stages of pregnancy.

    He would not give details of where the women lived, but said they were all in the same geographical zone.

    Opponents of human cloning have rejected the idea as ethically irresponsible, warning that even if the process succeeded it might produce babies with severe defects, and many countries have introduced legislation to outlaw the procedure.

    Its advocates argue however that it enables infertile couples to have children using their own genetic material.

    The doctor's claims have been generally received with scepticism by mainstream scientists and doctors, says BBC science correspondent Richard Black.
    In a first reaction, the man who cloned the first mammal - Dolly the Sheep in 1996 - told the BBC one should be extremely sceptical of Mr Antinori's claims.
    He had after all, said he had cloned large number of pigs and even primates, but no one has seen them and no scientific paper been published, Professor Ian Wilmut said.

    Dr Antinori told journalists that the embryo appeared to be developing normally, and the woman was expected to give birth at the beginning of January.
    "It's going well. There are no problems," Dr Antinori said, adding that ultra-sound scans showed the foetus currently weighed 2.5-to 2.7 kilograms (5.5-5.9 pounds) and was "absolutely healthy".

    The doctor refused to reveal the location or nationality of the woman, saying he has a duty to protect her privacy.

    He denied that he had had been in charge of the project to impregnate the women with cloned embryos - he had only made a "scientific and cultural contribution".

    The other two women carrying cloned embryos were in the 28th and the 27th week of their pregnancies, the doctor said.


    Dr Antinori, who runs a private fertility clinic in Rome, made world headlines in 1994 when he helped a 62-year-old woman have a child.
    His involvement with human cloning dates back to March 2001, when along with two other doctors he publicly declared his intention of cloning a human.
    Earlier this year he told reporters that women in his care were pregnant with cloned embryos.

    But he has so far refused to submit his work to the scrutiny of independent scientists.

    And his staked claim to the first human clone will remain a claim unless Dr Antinori produces the baby to the world and allows independent scientists to carry out tests to prove that it is a clone, our correspondent says.

    Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. - John Lennon

  2. #2

    How's this for creepy?

    Couple plan to clone a baby

    August 13, 2002 Posted: 3:13 PM EDT (1913 GMT)

    Editor's Note: CNN Access is a regular feature on providing interviews with newsmakers from around the world.

    (CNN) -- Bill and Kathy immediately set out to have a baby when they married in 1993. But after years of enduring fertility drugs, artificial insemination, in-vitro fertilization -- with no success -- the couple are turning to a controversial alternative to get the baby they so desperately desire.

    They want to clone one, with the help of Kentucky-based embryologist Panos Zavos.

    The couple, identified only by their first names, shared their story Monday on CNN's "Connie Chung Tonight." Following are excerpts from their interview with contributing correspondent Michael Guillen.

    GUILLEN: Bill and Kathy want a baby so badly, they're going to have one cloned, using her DNA. It means flying in the face of huge public, political, religious and scientific opposition. But they don't care.

    BILL: It's a concern, absolutely.

    KATHY: And that's why we're in shadow, because we don't want to hurt that little life that comes into this world.

    GUILLEN: Why is it so important then to tell your story to the world, Bill?

    BILL: Education, so people slowly, slowly, or faster or faster, get to know what this is all about.

    GUILLEN: At [a] secret lab, a team of doctors will take a plug of Kathy's tissue and harvest her DNA. Also, they'll take the egg from a younger woman and then replace its DNA with Kathy's. They'll implant that egg into a surrogate mother. If the pregnancy holds, nine months later, out will come Kathy's nearly identical body double. (Erica: VERY CREEPY )

    GUILLEN: Why the decision to clone Kathy and not you, Bill?

    BILL: Kathy suffered far greater than I did. She went through 24 months of drugs, of injectable drugs which could possibly cause cancer, and also, I think I'd rather have a girl than a boy. As simple as that. And God willing, if this works, maybe two years from now, we'll clone me.

    KATHY: Why not? Instant family.

    GUILLEN: Why not just adopt?

    KATHY: Well, we have thought about that. You can adopt a baby overseas, and then in a lot of countries, what happens is by the time you get the baby, they've been so messed up in the orphanage where they are that you are taking on a health hazard.

    GUILLEN: But isn't that an argument for all the more wanting to adopt a child like that, to show them some love and kindness?

    KATHY: Yes, you're right. You're right about that.

    BILL: But there is also nothing wrong with wanting your own, and having that right.

    GUILLEN: But what about the medical risks involved?

    BILL: We're not going to give birth to a monster or an abnormal child. If there is serious abnormality, absolutely we will -- and Dr. Zavos concurs that we will abort.

    GUILLEN: When you said the word "abort," you know, lots of people are going think, oh my gosh, you're piling one abomination on top of another.

    KATHY: Well, at least they'll have stem cells to possibly help improve someone's life who is having a problem.

    GUILLEN: So you would harvest stem cells from the aborted fetus for purposes of research? But you know how controversial that is, too.

    KATHY: Well, I'm a controversial person. I'm not politically correct. I never have been. I never will be.

    GUILLEN: But there is yet another objection to this procedure. Even when animal clones seem to be born healthy, time-delayed defects often rear their heads. The famous cloned sheep Dolly, for example, appears to be developing premature arthritis. Dr. Zavos disputes the evidence, but he admits cloning is risky.

    ZAVOS: For me to say that there are no risks involved, that would be a pure lie. And for me to say I'm not willing to take the risks, that would be finding me as a chicken. I'm neither one of the two. I'm a risk-taker, but at the same time, I'm a very cautious individual.

    GUILLEN: As older parents, how are you going to cope with the child who may evidence some of these delayed birth defects?

    KATHY: We'll face it and we'll deal with it.

    BILL: If anyone can face and deal with it, it's us.

    GUILLEN: Suppose you succeed. Suppose you have a child through this procedure. Will you raise it in secret? Or will you go public?

    KATHY: We'll tell the world that this child was conceived through cloning when it's safe for the child, when the political climate and the emotional climate will be accepting.

    GUILLEN: What will you tell the child herself? Would you tell her that she is a clone?

    KATHY: Eventually, yes.

    BILL: I think I would just tell the child that she was born by an in vitro process, without getting into specifics until the child is an adult.

    GUILLEN: What if she just gets angry at you? Why did you bring me into the world this way, I'm a freak? I'm completely different than any other human being who has ever lived on the face of the earth. Are you prepared that this child could be angry at you for bringing her into the world this way?

    KATHY: She's going to be treated like a very special person from Day One. And she's going to be loved, loved and loved, and she's not going to ever feel like a freak.

    GUILLEN: Bill and Kathy believe it's their divine destiny to have a cloned baby.

    KATHY: I think that God really wants us to do this, that it is the next step. I can't imagine any other reason why we haven't had a child, other than this is what we were meant to do.

    BILL: We realize there are a lot of people against it for whatever reason, and hopefully they'll be educated and understand and be sympathetic, and change. I really hope so. I really would like their approval, but we're going to do it regardless.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
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    Jun 2002
    Bryant, Ar.,USA
    THIS IS CRAZY!!!! I Absolutely disagree with this, isn't there a law against doing this stuff????

  4. #4
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA


    Doctor Claims Cloned Baby Due in Jan.
    Tue Nov 26, 5:53 PM ET Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!

    By PETER W. MAYER, Associated Press Writer

    ROME (AP) - An Italian fertility doctor who has claimed that several women are carrying cloned babies said Tuesday that one of the children would be born in early January. But as with earlier statements, he again offered no evidence.

    Dr. Severino Antinori told a news conference that a woman was about eight-months pregnant with a cloned baby boy and that the child was developing in an "absolutely healthy" way.

    In April, Antinori claimed that he knew of three pregnancies - then in the ninth, seventh and sixth weeks of development - involving cloned babies. He said Tuesday that the oldest of these was about to be born.

    However, according to his statement in April, the longest pregnancy would have passed nine months in mid-November. Antinori would not explain the discrepancy Tuesday.

    He also refused to specify if he had any role in the alleged clonings. He did say that he wouldn't be involved in the delivery of the baby, but that he had given a "cultural and scientific contribution" to a consortium of scientists involved in the pregnancies. He refused to identify the scientists.

    Antinori refused to identify the woman who was to give birth in January or give her nationality. When asked where she was going to give birth he said only "countries where this is permitted."

    Antinori, who runs a private fertility clinic in Rome, gained attention in the 1990s when he used donor eggs and hormones to help post-menopausal women to have children.

    Experts have repeatedly dismissed Antiniori's claims and say they doubt that he is capable of achieving a cloned pregnancy.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nate007's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    Winnipeg, manitoba, canada
    You're right Erin, all these articles are crazy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Erin81079's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Bryant, Ar.,USA


    Nate, I was refering to the cloning, but so many articles on the same thing is a little monotonous.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Therapeutic cloning, yes. Reproductive cloning, NO.

    Maybe some people just weren't meant to have children? Geez, it's not like Homo Sapiens is an endangered species. How about adopting?

  8. #8
    KATHY: I think that God really wants us to do this, that it is the next step. I can't imagine any other reason why we haven't had a child, other than this is what we were meant to do.
    Maybe God is trying to tell these people that they are just WAY too screwed up to reproduce.

    I had always thought that anyone who would go for reproductive cloning would be doing it basically for narcissistic reasons at heart. Just thinking of all the psychological baggage such a child would be saddled with from the moment of his/her birth makes me cringe.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mk99's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    toronto, canada
    The Raellians believe that in the not too distant future we will be able to clone ourselves and do a personality & memory transfer to the new younger body.

    Personally I think the personality & memory transfer won't work but a brain or head transplant could.

    I think it's entirely possible we will have this technology in our lifetime. I wouldn't mind a new body.

  10. #10
    Besides humans I've heard of cloning pets. Cats, dogs cost $200k. Somewhere in Texas I think??

    I agree, reproductive cloning is wrought with problems, complications, etc.

    However, the scary realization is that this type of "science" is available for anyone with enough $$$.

    It's obviously (Connie Chung interview / article) already out there and you can't put it back in the bottle. So, to me, the challenge facing the powers that be within the political and scientific community is how to regulate it?

    Onward and Upward!

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