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Cloning doctor brushes off criticism

A U.S.-based fertility expert who says he has transferred a cloned embryo into a woman has shrugged off criticism by other scientists and said he will have the last laugh.
/ Source: Reuters

A U.S.-based fertility expert who says he has transferred a cloned embryo into a woman has shrugged off criticism by other scientists and said he will have the last laugh.

“I have been dealing in reproductive medicine for the last 25 years and never failed. I do not intend to fail now,” Cypriot-born Panos Zavos told the Cyprus Weekly newspaper in an interview published on Friday.

Zavos outraged the mainstream medical world when he announced last week that he had cloned a human embryo and transferred it into a woman, prompting British scientists to say that “cowboy cloners” should be stopped.

Demands for scientific proof
“I am used to the criticism. If I wasn’t used to it I would have died of a heart attack,” he said. “If I wasn’t optimistic of what I was doing I would be hanging from a tree right now.”

Scientists have challenged Zavos to produce scientific proof which he said he will do only if the pregnancy was confirmed.

“...My team and I have every intention of sharing evidence of our work with the rest of the world,” he said.

Zavos, 59, has been saying since May 2002 that he was ready to try to create a human clone and has been working from an undisclosed location.

Born in Cyprus and one of 16 children, Zavos says his cloning work can be used to help infertile couples conceive.