March 4, 2009
Italian Doctor Admits To Cloning Three Infants
A controversial Italian fertility specialist said on Wednesday that he has successfully created three human babies through the process of cloning.
Dr. Severino Antinori said he has cloned two boys and one girl.
"I helped give birth to three children with the human cloning technique," Antinori said in an interview with Oggi Weekly.
"It involved two boys and a girl who are nine years old today. They were born healthy and they are in excellent health now."
He said he used the process of nuclear transfer to create the clones, and acknowledged that the process is different than the method used in 1996 to create the sheep clone named Dolly.
Antinori said he used cells from three infertile fathers to create the clones, adding that "respect for the families' privacy does not allow me to go further."
Italy has a stiff ban against human cloning.
Antinori first made headlines in 1994 by helping a 63-year-old post-menopausal woman give birth to a child.
Two weeks ago, he announced that he would artificially impregnate a woman whose husband is in an irreversible coma following a brain tumor. The procedure would be the first of its kind in Italy, according to AFP.
On Monday, a clinic in LA announced it plans to offer prospective parents with a controversial service that would allow them to select specific traits to be passed on to their offspring.
The LA Fertility Institutes, headed by IVF pioneer Dr Jeff Steinberg, said it will use a method called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD. Critics say it is one step closer to developing so-called "designer babies."