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Clones mostly ‘monsters’: scientist • Sunday January 5, 2003

AFP, Jan. 5, 2003

Efforts to clone humans will produce a “monster 99 per cent of the time”, the head of Russia’s Molecular Genetics Institute said overnight.

Responding to last week’s announcement of the first birth of a human clone, Vyacheslav Tarantul warned that nearly all cloning efforts have led to horrific biological deformations.

“It is theoretically possible to clone a human being, but who will take responsibility if a monster is born? This risk exists in 99 percent of the cases,” ITAR-TASS reported him as saying.

“During cloning experiments on animals, we have found anomalies in most cases – cancer, in particular,” Tarantul added.

Brigitte Boisselier, a maverick French scientist leading the Raelian cult’s drive to clone babies, has claimed that a second human clone has been born to a couple from The Netherlands.

Boisselier, the head of the Raelian-owned company Clonaid that allegedly oversaw the December 26 birth, had initially claimed her group would prove that baby Eve was an identical DNA replica of the mother.

But Raelian leader Claude Vorilhon has since backed out, saying that he asked Boisselier to halt the DNA tests under way.

Tarantul denounced the lack of any concrete evidence provided to back the Raelian’s history-making claims.

“It only takes three or four days to make a comparative DNA analysis of the mother and child in order to see whether this is the case of the first clone, or a publicity stunt,” he said.

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