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Human-cow embryo claimed by Zavos

15 September 2003
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 225

Panayiotis Zavos, a fertility doctor who runs a clinic in the US, was due to have announced at a conference in London today that he created 'human-cow' embryos that survived in the laboratory for two weeks. In theory, according to an article reporting on the forthcoming announcement in the UK's Sunday Times newspaper yesterday, the embryos could have been implanted into a woman.

Zavos said that while he had no plans to implant the hybrid embryos - created by inserting human DNA into cow's eggs - they were 'theoretically viable'. But he was only experimenting in order to perfect cloning techniques, and used bovine eggs in order to overcome both ethical and practical problems with using human eggs: 'We are not creating monsters', he said.

Zavos claims that the embryos grew to more than 100 cells and appeared to be developing normally. He also claimed they had passed the stage of differentiation, which may be taken to show that the human DNA had been left intact by the process. But other scientists were unconvinced by the report. Professor Richard Gardner, chairman of the Royal Society working group on stem cells and cloning, said 'this claim should be treated with extreme scepticism without evidence'.

In April 2003, Zavos, who formerly worked with maverick Italian fertility doctor Severino Antinori, announced that he had cloned the first human embryo for reproductive purposes. Zavos claimed to have cloned the human embryo for an American couple, saying that it would be kept frozen until further tests on it had been performed. He said that he would only consider implantation of the embryo if he could be certain that it was free from abnormalities and is capable of healthy development.

Cloning expert claims to have created 'human-cow' embryo
The Sunday Times |  14 September 2003
First human clone ready for implantation
New Scientist |  15 September 2003
27 April 2009 - by Dr Rebecca Robey 
In a controversial documentary for the Discovery Channel aired last week, Dr Panayiotis Zavos, a notorious US fertility doctor, claimed to have successfully created and implanted cloned human embryos with the intention of producing live human clones. Scientists and medical ethicists have unanimously condemned him for his...
2 June 2004 - by BioNews 
A report in the UK's Times newspaper this week suggests that scientists working in the UK can create human-animal hybrid embryos by exploiting a loophole in the law. According to the article, the wording of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) legal mandate means that the embryo research watchdog...
16 September 2003 - by BioNews 
Dr Panayiotis Zavos, a fertility doctor who runs a clinic in the US, has announced at a London conference that he is ready to implant a cloned human embryo into a human uterus. Dr Zavos' announcement, made on 15 September, follows his claims in April 2003 that he had created...
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