Three sets of scientists claim to be actively involved in efforts
to clone a human being:
Antinori is an Italian fertility researcher who became known
in the early 1990s for his controversial work in helping post-menopausal
women have children. In early 2001, he announced his intention
to begin active efforts intended to lead to the birth of a clonal
child. In 2002 and 2003, he made several inconsistent claims
that clonal pregnancies were underway. In May 2004, he said
that at least three babies had been born, but that he had acted
only as an "advisor" at the cloning. Although his
medical and research credentials make his claims to be engaged
in a serious cloning effort at least somewhat plausible, there
is currently no evidence to support his announcements.
Panos Zavos - http://www.aia-zavos.com,
Zavos and Antinori were partners in an effort to create a cloned
child until May 2002, when Zavos disassociated himself from
Antinori's work and claims. In May 2002, Zavos indicated that
he had assembled a 9-person team of scientists, located at two
sites (one in Europe and the other "somewhere between Greece
and India") and had screened and approved 12 couples for
participation in cloning experiments. In April 2003, he published
a picture said to be of a four-day-old cloned embryo, but the
peer-reviewed analysis he promised did not follow. In January
2004, he announced that he had implanted a cloned embryo but
two weeks later he said that a pregnancy had not resulted. Zavos
holds a doctorate in physiology and was formerly a professor
at the University of Kentucky. With his wife, he runs a fertility
clinic in Lexington. In June 2004, he announced he was also
opening an office in England.
The Raelians and Clonaid - http://www.rael.org,
On December 27, 2002, the Raelians made headlines worldwide
with their announcement that the first cloned infant, nicknamed
Eve, had been born to an American woman in an undisclosed overseas
location. Former French race car driver and Raelian leader Claude
Vorilhon later told the press that the birth of the cloned infant
"may not have happened" and hinted that the entire
affair had been an orchestrated hoax to bring international
recognition to the Raelians.
The Raelians are an international religious sect based on the
belief that life on Earth was created through genetic engineering
by extraterrestrials, and that cloning technology will eventually
enable people to achieve eternal life. Based in Montreal, the
Raelians claim to be the world's largest UFO-related organization,
with 55,000 members in 84 countries. Clonaid, their human cloning
"brand name" (not technically a company), is operated
by Dr. Brigitte Boisselier. She has continued to announce clonal
births, to parents of at least a dozen nationalities, but none
of the children have been seen in public or underwent DNA testing.
efforts to clone a human being:
"The Creator" and "The Client"
In the February 2001 issue of Wired, reporter Brian
Alexander recounted his conversations with a 30-year old scientist
with "a Ph.D. in molecular biology, a list of peer-reviewed
publications, and a research job at a big-name university,"
who had begun work intended to lead to reproductive cloning.
Alexander also described his dinner with the sponsor of the
effort, a "Western European businessman" whose son
had died of cancer. According to Alexander, the "Creator"
had already secured the cooperation of an IVF clinic in a major
Asian city. Those involved planned to implant clonal embryos
in 5 to 10 surrogate mothers, in the hopes that one would be
healthy and come to term. See Brian Alexander, "(You)2,"
Wired (Vol. 9, No. 2, February 2001), http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/9.02/projectx.html