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Zavos, the man who cried ‘clone’

Thursday, 23 April, 2009

zavos0The fertility doctor Panayiatos ‘Panos’ Zavos has (yet again!) claimed to have created some human clones, this time saying he’s implanted 11 cloned human embryos into 4 women. These embryos are allegedly created by taking the nuclei of “blood cells” (but obviously not erythrocytes) of a 10-year-old girl – who died in a car accident – and transferring those nuclei into bovine ova. Then the nuclei were extracted from the viable bovine/human cybrid embryos and transferred into human ova, and the viable ones of those implanted.

Remember, SCNT hardly works at the best of times, and to have done it twice (first into bovine ova, then into human ova) seems to be an enormous undertaking. And Zavos seems to spend more time talking to the media than actually doing labwork, so where would he find the time?

In case you weren’t aware of Zavos, just note that this claim seems to be itself a clone of one Zavos announced back in 2004 (after announcing his intentions to clone a human embryo in 2001 and again in 2002, and claiming a successful pregnancy that same year). For a guy who’s supposedly a mad scientist doing controversial research in a secret facility, he certainly is a big fan of the press. And this current stories reports he’s even filmed himself at his secret facility doing the work!

But the important thing is, despite constant media attention there is still no hard evidence of any human cloning, done by Zavos or anyone else. Until I see the indepentantly-verified genetic tests proving a baby is a clone, I call any report of reproductive human cloning and especially any with a mention of Zavos (or Raelians) to be a big fat HOAX!

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