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<nettime> Religious Sect Announces First Cloned Baby
Paul D. Miller on Sat, 28 Dec 2002 13:15:52 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Religious Sect Announces First Cloned Baby


Well folks - all I can say is "it's the dub version" - not too
complicated... just over the top enough to make you think "why haven't
they caught the anthrax letter guy yet?"

These folks are definitely not as dumb as the Heavens Gate Cult (they
still have balls, and probably build better websites....) but hey...  a
cult founded by a race car driver who was visited by "voluptious female
robots on the edge of a volcano in 1973..."  all I can say is:  Welcome to
the 21st century... read on: I guarantee - it's no joke. I wonder how
Dolly feels about all of this?


they even have their own homepage for the curious:
www.rael.org/


anyway, just a thought...

umm... happy holidays!
Paul


http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/27/health/27CND-CLON.html?ex=1042037160 
&ei=1&en=6c4987994442b0ee


Sect Claims First Cloned Baby

New York Times
December 27, 2002
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.

A religious sect that contends that space travelers created
the human race by cloning themselves declared today that
the first cloned human had been born.

The announcement was made at a televised news conference in
Hollywood, Fla., by Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, a chemist who
directs a Bahamian company formed to clone humans and who
is scientific director of the sect, the RaÎlians.

"The baby is very healthy," Dr. Boisselier said. "She is
fine, she's doing fine. The parents are happy. I hope that
you remember them when you talk about this baby, not like a
monster, like some results of something that is
disgusting."

Dr. Boisselier offered no evidence to back up her claim,
but said the results of independent genetic testing would
be made public in a few days.

A spokeswoman for Dr. Boisselier, Nadine Gary, said the
baby had been born by Caesarean section and was a clone of
the woman who gave birth to her. Neither the mother, whom
Dr. Boisselier identified as a 31-year-old American whose
mate is infertile, nor the child, named Eve, was at the
news conference.

Dr. Boisselier said four more cloned babies were due in the
next few weeks, but she did not say where any of the
cloning had taken place.

Robert Lanza, the chief of medical development at Advanced
Cell Technology, who says his company cloned a human embryo
but never implanted it, said in an interview on CNN that if
Dr. Boisselier's claim is true, such a project would be
"absolutely abhorrent, unsafe and ethically questionable."
He said he also worried that a backlash arising from the
RaÎlians' announcement could hamper research into cloning
intended to save lives.

R. Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of
Wisconsin, said it would be "irresponsible medicine" to
have conducted the type of cloning experiment described by
Dr. Boisselier. "It's a truism in medicine that you don't
begin working on humans until you have a basis in
laboratory and medical science," she said on CNN.

Both experts raised the question that even if the child
were born healthy, scientists have found that cloned
animals often have congential problems that are not
apparent until later. Inflicting such possible problems on
children, they said, is unethical.

This year, three groups - a fertility clinic in Italy, an
embryology laboratory business in Kentucky and the RaÎlians
- announced separately that they were on the verge of
overseeing the births of cloned humans.

Animal-cloning experts said that it was theoretically
possible for a human to be cloned but that any such effort
would probably have had dozens of failures before a
successful birth.

They said it should be relatively easy, using the same type
of DNA tests that are used in court, to prove that a child
is a duplicate of his or her mother. An independent test
would be crucial to proving that the announcement was not a
hoax, they said.

RaÎlians are followers of RaÎl, a French-born former
race-car driver who has said he met a four-foot space alien
atop a volcano in southern France in 1973 and went aboard
his ship, where he was entertained by voluptuous female
robots and learned that the first humans were created
25,000 years ago by space travelers called Elohim, who
cloned themselves.

RaÎlians consider cloning an opportunity to meld religion
and science and say they have 55,000 members. They have
never named the scientists doing their work, where it is
done or how it is paid for. In 1998, Dr. Boisselier
announced that the group had signed up "about 100" clients
who would have to pay $200,000 each to be cloned, and the
group later said a couple who lost a 10-month-old child in
2000 had offered a large amount of money to resurrect their
child's genes from saved tissue.

Dr. Boisselier, a former research chemist in France, has
taught chemistry at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

Until Dolly the sheep was cloned in Scotland in 1997, many
scientists assumed that cloning a mammal would be
impossible, but mice, cats, goats, pigs and cows have been
successfully cloned. Primates have not, but scientists
argue that the techniques of human embryo manipulation have
been refined in the dozens of in-vitro fertilization
clinics, making it theoretically easier to clone a human
than a monkey.

The typical success rate with animals is about 2 percent,
said George Seidel, a researcher at Colorado State
University who has cloned cattle, "so one would have to
have at least 50 such operations."

Also, Dr. Seidel said, cloned animals have a high rate of
unexplained defects, including malformed kidneys, hearts
and lungs, and often die within days of birth. "Ten percent
abnormalities might be acceptable for cloning cows," he
said. "But it's completely unacceptable for human
children."

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/27/health/27CND-CLON.html?ex=1042037160 
&ei=1&en=6c4987994442b0ee


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