Experts Blast Clone Doc's Claims, Credibility, Ethics

Zavos' claim to have implanted human clones scorned by fertility experts

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 23, 2009 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A fertility doctor who claims to have implanted cloned human embryos into several women is being denounced as an unscrupulous publicity hound by leading figures in his field, the Independent reports. Panayiotis Zavos has failed to make his work available for review by his peers, the experts charge, and his claims, if true, represent an immoral and dangerous breach of the ban on human cloning.

"For his claims to have credibility—and to prevent the unethical exploitation of grieving or desperate couples—Dr. Zavos must throw open his work to peer review," said the director of a charity dedicated to helping families affected with inherited disorders. "If he is as good as he claims then he has nothing to fear. If he is not, then vulnerable women and couples need protection from his activities."

Dr Panayiotis Zavos speaks during a press conference to announce he has taken the first step towards cloning a human being.
Dr Panayiotis Zavos speaks during a press conference to announce he has taken the first step towards cloning a human being.   (Getty Images)
Dr Zavos claims to have transplanted cloned embryos into four women and to have created hybrid human-animal clones by fusing the cells of dead people with the empty egg cells of cows.
Dr Zavos claims to have transplanted cloned embryos into four women and to have created hybrid human-animal clones by fusing the cells of dead people with the empty egg cells of cows.   (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
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I do not know of any credible evidence that suggests Dr Zavos can clone a human being. This seems to be yet another one of his claims to get publicity. - Lord Winston of Imperial College London, former head of a fertility clinic

This affair shows a complete lack of responsibility. If true, Zavos has again failed to observe the universally-accepted ban on human cloning, which was agreed because most of the resulting embryos from such animal experiments are abnormal. - Professor Azim Surani of the University of Cambridge

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