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Antinori claims three pregnant with clones

29 April 2002
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 155

Severino Antinori, the maverick Italian fertility doctor who recently announced that one of his patients was pregnant with a clone, announced on an Italian chat show last week that two more women were also carrying clones.

Antinori offered no details to support his claims that the three women were in their ninth, seventh and sixth weeks of pregnancy, respectively. He then went on to say that he was not involved in the pregnancies, but was aware of them because of contact with other doctors. He said 'today we have three pregnancies in progress in the world. Obviously, I'm not implicated in any way. Two in the former Soviet states and one in an Islamic country'. He claimed also that eight cloned embryos exist in China, but have yet to be implanted. His claim appears to be in direct contradiction to the announcement of the original clone pregnancy, in which Antinori claimed 'a patient' on one of his treatment programmes was pregnant.

Scientists have responded to Antinori's claims with scepticism and condemnation. Panos Zavos, former partner of the Italian doctor, has claimed that he has severed links with Antinori, saying he has 'no clones, no laboratory, no patients and no doctors to help him'. Zavos also wants to clone humans but says he will perfect animal cloning techniques before attempting to do so.

Ian Wilmut, a scientist from Scotland's Roslin Institute, which cloned Dolly the sheep, doubted Antinori's claims when they were first made. Now, he has published findings that suggest that any work on human cloning is not only unlikely, but is likely to be dangerous if attempted. He says that a review of cloned animals around the world shows that they are all genetically or physically defective, adding that 'the widespread problems associated with clones has led to questions as to whether any clone was entirely normal'.

Cloned baby row doctor 'has run out of patients'
The Daily Telegraph |  27 April 2002
Gene defects emerge in all animal clones
The Sunday Times |  28 April 2002
Italy doctor says three cloned pregnancies exist
Reuters |  24 April 2002
10 May 2004 - by BioNews 
Maverick Italian fertility doctor Severino Antinori has restated his claims that three cloned babies have been born. Speaking at a press briefing before a conference on reproductive technology in Rome, he refused to give further details and offered no evidence or details about the alleged births. Antinori claimed in 2002...
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