The world?s first cloned baby could be born in November, according to Italian fertility expert Severino Antinori. Most animal clones have short, unhealthy lives. But even if the baby is healthy, the mother could be at high risk for a rare invasive womb cancer.
Richard Gardner, who chaired the U.K. Royal Society?s working group on cloning, says the mother could be at risk from choriocarcinoma, an unusual form of cancer unique to humans. The cancer develops from the trophoblast, the part of an embryo that invades the womb wall and develops into the placenta. Though the causes are unknown, poorly regulated genes controlling the growth of the placenta seem to be involved.