A U.S. couple hopes to become parents of the world's firstcloned human. They plan to fly to a secret destination to bepart of a cloning experiment. The couple, a high schoolteacher and sales representative, say they've turned tocloning in desperation, after everything else has failed.
Bill, who is in his mid 50s, says, "If we could clone achild this would be our own child. We don't really regardthis as cloning...We are a religious people and have searcheddeep into ourselves about this...We think this is somethingthat should only be done for infertile couples."
They will join five other couples for secret experiments ledby fertility expert Dr. Panos Zavos. The process will be thesame as the one used to clone Dolly the sheep.
South Korean authorities are investigating Clonaid, aU.S.-based company and spiritual sect that claims it hasimplanted a cloned embryo in a Korean woman. Clonaidspokesman Kwak Gi-hwa says the woman will give birth inSouth Korea, which has no laws against the procedure right now.
The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare is talkingabout passing a law that will prevent future clones beingborn there. A spokesman says, "Before finding out whether ornot there's a woman pregnant with a cloned baby, we muststate that the practice of human cloning itself is unethical."
Kwak says, ?The surrogate mother, who arrived in South Koreaa month ago, came with an embryo which had been implanted onher uterine wall by foreign technicians." He says Clonaidwants "to inform as many people as possible that eternallife is possible with science."
Clonaid project head Brigitte Boisellier says the company ispatenting a new method of cloning embryos. "Our goal is todo a cloned baby and a very healthy one," she says. "Weshould disclose in December the results of the implantationsto the scientific community."
So far only one lab, Advanced Cell Technologies inMassachusetts, claims to have cloned a human embryo, and allits embryos stopped growing after only a few days in the lab.ACT says its goal is not to create a human baby but to useembryos as a source for stem cells, which can be used totreat diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson's.
Meanwhile, in China, more than 30 human embryos have beencloned that are being used for medical research. Chineseresearchers have not produced an entire cloned baby, but aretrying to achieve that goal. They have developed a specialcloning technique that will soon be revealed in a majorscientific journal.
Professor Lu Guangxiu, of the Xiangya school of Medicine inHunan, wants to develop a way of growing spare body parts.Xiangzhong Yang, of Connecticut University, knows some ofthe details of her work and thinks she?ll succeed. He says,"She has embryos, money and the backing of the Chinesegovernment."
Careful when cloning those Indigos, or you may get more thanyou?ve bargain for! To learn more, read ?The IndigoChildren? and ?An Indigo Celebration? by Lee Carroll and JanTober,click here.
To learn more aboutclones,clickhere and hereandhere.
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