Friday, May 8, 2009
Scientist Claims to have cloned 14 embryos
Culture of Life report that, Cypriot scientist Panos Zavos has claimed to have cloned 14 human embryos and transferred 11 of them into the wombs of four women happy to give birth to cloned babies. This is his third public announcement in six years claiming to have succeeded at the controversial procedure in a secret laboratory in a country where cloning is supposedly legal.
The embryo cloning was achieved by the use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). A somatic cell is simply a body cell, such as a skin cell, containing the full genetic code of a person. In SCNT, the nucleus of a somatic cell is removed and transferred into a female oocyte (egg cell) which has had its nucleus removed. Because the embryo’s nucleus contains the genetic material of the donor of the somatic cell, the embryo is a biological clone of the donor. A slight electrical impulse can stimulate the embryo to begin cell division. This is also how Dolly the Sheep was brought into being
This type of human cloning according to the report has been actively pursued for nearly ten years but the interest in clones up to now has been for their stem cells, otherwise known as clone and kill, not to bring a live baby to birth. Dr. Zavos on the other hand is determined to bring a cloned baby to birth; and is convinced it will happen in the next few years.
Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue of Lancaster said in a statement that if Dr. Zavos' claims are true, his "actions are deeply repugnant for the future of humanity."
Bishop O'Donohue said, "Cloning entails manipulating human life in ever more invasive ways, and this will lead to 'making embryos to order,' as well as other more and more serious abuses."