Scientists Warn About Dangers of Human Cloning

Meeting of National Academy of Sciences in D.C.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

WASHINGTON, D.C., AUG. 7, 2001 ( As researchers outlined their plans for human cloning, a prominent biologist warned today about the grave dangers involved in such a procedure.

Rudolph Jaenisch of the Whitehead Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a pioneer in animal cloning, warned about the pitfalls entailed in human cloning.

At a conference convened by the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, Jaenisch explained that only 1% to 5% of cloned animals survive.

The group is analyzing the proposals of Italian doctor Severino Antinori and Panayiotis Zavos, who runs an infertility clinic in Lexington, Kentucky.

Jaenisch explained that the errors and aberrations observed in animals indicate that at present human cloning is «dangerous and scarcely developed technically.»

The meeting at the Academy of Sciences is being attended by scientists like Ian Wilmut, researcher of the Roslin Institute of Scotland, who helped clone Dolly the sheep.

Dolly, born in 1997, seemed normal, but her creators admitted that her chromosomes include factors that cause aging at a higher rate than normal.

Antinori confirmed that he will try to clone a human being. Ultimately, he hopes to clone 200 individuals to help sterile couples.

Brigitte Boisselier of Clonaid, an enterprise offering cloning services on Internet for $200,000, also defended the project. Clonaid was founded in 1997 by a racing car driver who changed his name to Rael and launched the Raelian Movement, a UFO group which maintains that life on earth was created by extraterrestrial scientists. Boisselier is a bishop in the movement, according to its Web page.

Alan Colman, research director of PPL Therapeutics in Scotland, told the conference that cloning in animals is improving and he expects much greater efficiency as techniques get better, according to the Associated Press.

«The bottom line is practice makes perfect,» he said. «But is it ethical to practice in humans? I think it isn´t.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation