VARIOUS: ITALIAN FERTILITY SPECIALIST CLAIMS BREAKTHROUGH IN CONTROVERSIAL HUMAN CLONING PROGRAMME
- Title: VARIOUS: ITALIAN FERTILITY SPECIALIST CLAIMS BREAKTHROUGH IN CONTROVERSIAL HUMAN CLONING PROGRAMME
- Date: 11th April 2002
- Summary: (W8) WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (FILE - AUGUST 7, 2001) (REUTERS) MV REPRODUCTIVE RESEARCHER, DOCTOR SEVERINO ANTINORI, WALKING PAST JOURNALISTS AT CONFERENCE ON CLONING AT NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (W8) LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, USA (FILE - FEBRUARY 26, 2001) (REUTERS) MV/SCU DR. PANOS ZAVOS AND TANK OF LIQUID NITROGEN WHERE EMBRYO ARE FROZEN; SCU RODS FOR EMBRYO STORAGE (2 SHOTS) (W8) WASHINGTON, D.C., USA (FILE - AUGUST 7, 2001) (REUTERS) MV ANTINORI AND ZAVOS SHAKING HANDS (W8) LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, USA (FILE - FEBRUARY 26, 2001) (REUTERS) SCU ZAVOS PREPARING SAMPLES; SCU ZAVOS IN FRONT OF MICROSCOPE (2 SHOTS)
- Reuters ID: LVABU1391QT2YBRDZYCBVNA9OZ34
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII, HAWAII, AND VARIOUS UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS, USA, ROME, ITALY AND EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:51
- Topics: General,Health,Politics,Science
- Story Text: A report this week by an Italian fertility specialist
that a woman in a controversial cloning programme is pregnant
has been greeted with widespread scepticism from the
scientific community, and reportedly has prompted the U.S.
based ally of the Italian doctor to cut ties with the program.
Usually a new baby is the result of joining human
sperm and egg; but now an Italian fertility expert says that's
no longer the case. Dr. Severino Antinori's claim that he's
helped impregnate a patient with the first human clone, has
made him a lighting rod for outrage.
So much so that his strongest ally, Dr. Panos Zavos of the
U.S.-based Andrology Institute, is reportedly cutting ties
with Antinori. Last year, the two pledged to join efforts to
produce the first human clone.
The split marks the latest in the controversy surrounding
Antinori's clone pregnancy claim, one that many fertility
experts doubt. Sean Tipton of the American Society for
Reproductive Medicine said of the report, "I don't think
there's any reason to believe these claims even if they're
made are true."
"The team that has been making these claims has made
similar claims in the past and they haven't borne out and they
have offered no scientific evidence to back up their claims,"
Tipton said on Tuesday (April 9, 2002).
Antinori made the claim in response to a question during a
lecture at the Zayed Center for Follow-up and Coordination, an
Abu Dhabi think tank.
"Our project is at a very advanced stage. One woman among
the thousands of infertile couples in the programme is eight
weeks pregnant," Gulf News, an English-language newspaper in
the United Arab Emirates, reported Antinori as saying last
Antinori will not confirm or deny his claims to any other
media except an Italian newspaper reporter he told that that
the baby is a clone of a wealthy Arab, who is providing
unlimited money to develop human cloning in an Islamic
Human embryo cloning is not a completely new process,
however, it is believed none have been implanted and carried
to term. While many mammals have been cloned and some seem
normal in appearance, scientists say they have left a host
malformed creatures in their path, proving dangerous and
"In the large animal models there have been lots of
problems, there have been repeated miscarriages, there have
been flawed offspring, and there has even been some danger to
the mother," Tipton told Reuters.
While she appears normal, even the now-famous Dolly the
cloned sheep, has reportedly developed severe arthritis at a
relatively young age.
"It is clear that this is a technology that's not ready to
be tried in humans," Tipton said.
The Rome Medical Association is threatening Antinori with
disciplinary action if he indeed tried to clone a person.
Most countries, including Saudia Arabia and Italy, ban human
cloning. The United States Congress is currently debating a
measure that would ban it in America.
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