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Friday, 12 July, 2002, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Italian doctor denies cloning report

An Italian doctor, Severino Antinori, has denied a newspaper report that he is in the process of cloning a human being.

A French newspaper, Liberation, published an interview quoting the professor as saying that he had implanted eighteen cloned embryos inside women, one of whom is now in her fifteenth week of pregnancy.

Under Italian law doctors involved in human cloning risk at least ten years in prison.

Professor Antinori allegedly said the baby would be born outside Italy and that he would wait until around twenty such babies had been born before publishing a paper on his work.

He later said in a statement that the newspaper report had nothing to do with the serious scientific work he was involved in. Professor Antinori has always denied beining involved in preganancies brought about with cloned human embryos, although he recently said that three women had been made preganant using the technique.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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