February 29, 2024

First monkeys cloned in China

This week’s announcement by Chinese scientists that they had cloned macaque monkeys prompted a walk down memory lane for me. The scientists aver that they have no interest whatsoever in human cloning. One must take them at their word, I suppose, but the impulse to clone humans is a recurring lunacy.

Remember the Raelians? In 2002 Rael, the French-Canadian founder of the sect which believes that mankind was created by extraterrestrials and that cloning is a way to immortality, announced that his scientists had cloned a baby.

Remember Severino Antinori? The Italian gynaecologist announced that he had cloned babies in 2002. No proof was ever given. He is currently battling charges of kidnapping and forcibly removing eight eggs from a Spanish nurse.

Remember Hwang Woo-suk? The veterinary scientist claimed that he had cloned human embryos in 2004 and was featured on a South Korean stamp. Much of his work was fraudulent.

Remember Panayiotis Zavos? The Cypriot-American claimed in 2009 that he had implanted cloned 14 embryos and implanted them in four women. He has faded from the limelight in recent years.

I would wager that if the Chinese experiment is confirmed, there will be another wave of cloning attempts by rogue scientists. Watch this space.

Michael Cook
No plans to clone humans