In the news: Antinori and Zavos

August 10, 2001

Severino Antinori (main picture) and Panos Michael Zavos are pioneers of reproductive cloning and, as befits their controversial status, public opinion about the men could not be more diverse. Hailed as miracle workers by some and monsters by others, they are seen as the last hope for many childless couples, while being condemned by the Vatican and called "reckless" by Edinburgh's Roslin Institute, which cloned Dolly the sheep.

This week, the pair appeared before an investigative committee of the US National Academies of Science in Washington to argue that human reproductive cloning is ethical and practically achievable. Ian Wilmut from Roslin will also be at the meeting.

The NAS panel aims to assess the state of cloning technology for a public discussion document to be published in four months.

Professor Antinori runs an infertility research centre and clinic in Rome. He predicts that he will complete the first human cloning operation within 18 months, but he risks being banned from practising medicine in Italy if he pursues his plans. As a result, he wants to carry out the procedure in an unnamed Mediterranean country or on a boat in international waters.

Professor Zavos, who works closely with Professor Antinori, is professor emeritus of reproductive physiology-andrology at the University of Kentucky and founder, director and chief andrologist of the Andrology Institute of America. He is also president and chief executive of ZDL Inc, which markets infertility products and technologies.

The scientists plan to use the technology involved in creating Dolly, injecting genetic material from the father into the mother's egg and implanting the embryo in the mother's womb. They say that they will only use the technique to help infertile couples with no other way of becoming parents and that they only want to make people happy. The men argue that if they do not succeed in cloning a human soon, someone else will.

 

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Professorship in Behavioural Science LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Foundation Partnerships Officer LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (8 September 2016)

Some lecturers will rightly encourage forms of student interaction that are impossible for those covering their faces, Eric Heinze argues

University of Oxford students walking on campus

University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues

Handwritten essay on table

Universities must pay more attention to the difficulties faced by students, says Daniel Dennehy

Theresa May entering 10 Downing Street, London

The prospect of new grammar schools on the horizon raises big questions for HE, writes Nick Hillman

Nosey man outside window

Head of UK admissions service Mary Curnock Cook addresses concerns that universities might ‘not hear a word’ from applicants