A member of a sect that believes life on Earth was created by extraterrestrials claimed Friday to have produced the world's first human clone, a baby girl.
The 7-pound baby was born Thursday by Caesarean section, said Brigitte Boisselier, a chemist and head of a company that did the experiment. She wouldn't say where the baby was born; she did say the birth was at 11:55 a.m. local time.
Even before her news conference, other scientists expressed doubt that her group could clone a human.
Boisselier said the baby, dubbed "Eve" by the scientists, is a clone of the 31-year-old American woman who donated the DNA for the cloning process, had the resulting embryo implanted and then gestated the baby. If confirmed, that would make the child an exact genetic duplicate of her mother.
Boisselier said the mother had resorted to cloning because her mate was infertile.
Boisselier did not immediately present DNA evidence showing a genetic match between mother and daughter, however. That leaves her claim scientifically unsupported.
Dr. Michael Guillen, a former medical correspondent at ABC's "Good Morning America," told reporters at the news conference he was lining up "independent world-class experts" to perform DNA test on the mother and baby. He said he was not being paid by Clonaid.
The group expects four more babies to be born in the next several weeks, another from North America, one from Europe and two from Asia. Two of the couples are using preserved cells taken from their own children before their deaths, and one is a lesbian couple, she claimed.
Most scientists, already skeptical of Boisellier's ability to produce a human clone, will probably demand to know exactly how the DNA testing was done before they believe the announcement.
Clonaid was founded in the Bahamas in 1997 by Claude Vorilhon, a former French journalist and leader of a group called the Raelians. Vorilhon and his followers claim aliens visiting him in the 1970s revealed they had created all life on Earth through genetic engineering.
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