Experts have expressed concern over the work of a controversial fertility expert who claims he has implanted a cloned human embryo through IVF treatment.
US doctor Panos Zavos said a surrogate mother had the frozen embryo implanted recently. He wouldn't say where or when the procedure happened.
Critics argue there's no evidence and it's unethical.
They say animal experiments have led to many failures and a high rate of abnormalities in those pregnancies which do result in live births.
Dr Zavos says his research will help couples have children. And splitting the embryo in two will allow one embryo to develop into a baby, while the second could be used for stem cells if the baby became ill, developed any genetic abnormalities or deformities or injuries.
Is human cloning ethical? Do you consider it a good idea to have a spare embryo to supply stem cells in case of illness or injury?
This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
Research by rogue doctors, charlatans, and 'Raelians' (remember those?) is unacceptable. Work on cloning should be conducted in research centres or universities after the experts in each country where such research is conducted establish strict guidelines in accordance with the laws of that country. Other than that I have no objections.
TRUE cloning should be banned for the simple reason that anyone who believes they should have an exact copy of themselves is too arrogant to be trusted. Come on, the only clones we'll have are CEO's and politicians.... surely that is warning enough?
Matt, Amsterdam, Netherlands (ex. UK)
We don't need more population problems in this world. Six billion is enough and soon that number will double shortly. There is really no need for human cloning.
As an Arsenal fan I would like permission to use this technology to clone 9 more Thierry Henry's.
As usual, cloning will find a backdoor to become part of our lives, then it will go wrong, then laws will be constructed to mismanage it, and the lawyers will make a lot of money. Those that can do the science are so full of themselves, and they never seem to put themselves in the position of the cloned individual who will inevitably feel only chemically conceived. It will be a heartless development. It should not happen.
Josephine Bennington, UK
Historically many advances in medical science have been initially considered unethical, unnatural or unholy. Prime examples are the dissection of corpses (without which modern medicine wouldn't exist), Transplant surgery and IVF. Simply put - new science scares people. Why should cloning be any different to the previous examples in ultimately gaining acceptance once public understanding and moral beliefs catch up?
Andrew, Cardiff, UK
Cloning can be a positive for humankind. But, humans have a habit of screwing things up for gain or profit. Unfortunately we cannot stop this technology and it will be abused.
Russ B, USA
People who keep stating that cloning is "playing God" are mistaken. If one has belief in God then surely it follows that humans can only embark on this because God has allowed them to, right or wrong. Obviously cloning cannot be good for the human race, as it will no doubt (if it is ever proven to work!) massively disrupt the natural order that exists. However we have already managed to heat up the planet through green houses gases that the planet cannot cope with, this will just be the next disaster we unleash upon ourselves.
Ahmad Alam, Manchester, UK
Some people here have complained that doctors are playing 'God' with cloning. So blood transfusions, organ transplants, skin grafts, medicines and fertility treatments aren't? We shouldn't fear science, our race needs to look to the future, not wallow in fear of the unknown.
Steve, Surrey, UK
I think it's terribly sad to think something has been called into existence in this way. I can appreciate the research that has been needed to help childless couples etc but I think it has to stop somewhere. I also worry about the long term implications of this on the child. It's also horrible to think that the second embryo mentioned in the article would be used for cells if the first baby became ill. For some reason the Morlocks and Eloi of HG Wells' Time machine sprang to mind. Being bred for such a disposable purpose.
Ellie, Mids, UK
I find this cloning almost frightening because of the uses it could be put to by some unscrupulous people. The problem with banning it is that if it can be done, some scientist will do it illegally or not. My concern is that some people may decide this is a way to ensure, that there are spare body parts available for them. Admittedly that sounds almost science fiction, but that is what is happening here. Years ago cloning was a story a fabrication, and now it is real. If it is not carefully policed, then those who se it as pushing the boundaries of science will just do so unguardedly.
Ian Peter, England
Human cloning is totally and completely wrong. Why can't these so-called experts leave nature alone?
E Davis, New Romney Kent, UK
Why should we be spending all this money, wherever it comes from, on useless things like cloning so couples can have children? There are far too many children in the world and many need a loving home. Let us concentrate on the problems around us now, not start making them for the future with this ill advised venture.
Claire Herbert, London
These types of doctors are taking advantage of infertile mothers in their time of distress.
Somesh At'ed, Ganjapura
Stem cell research is a good thing, and there are many other sources for stem cells, (for example the discarded umbilical cord from naturally born babies) other than embryos or foetuses themselves. Cloning will get us no where but arrogant. Parents who cannot have babies should be helped financially and emotionally to adopt.
J Wealand, Arizona, USA
In the majority of cases cloning is viewed as a breakthrough in science. And as a result of this some positive connotations are invariably attached to the word "breakthrough". I'm a supporter of cloning but to a certain extent. I mean that it is vital to clone organs for transplants but not to clone human-beings.
Anna S., Ufa, Russia
Whether you like it, it's here to stay and progress. We should embrace it therefore and learn.
Where does the soul fit in? The human spirit? That unidentifiable factor that makes us all unique - even twins - what about that? Flip side of this argument, that there are no souls or afterlife - doesn't that make every life precious? Why start life with the odds stacked against you - either as a discarded embryo or with unknown defects? "Just because we can" is the stupidest argument - we can pollute our waters, our skies, destroy whole species, we can kill each other and blow this planet up. That doesn't mean we should.
MDE, Newcastle, UK
Cloning is the way forward; we should be brave and embrace the new technology. Fundamentally if we make mistakes we must learn from them. I am sure we would not have achieved so much without making the odd mistake. Playing at God? I think he would be insulted. If this research means one less child having to suffer downs syndrome then I support it!
It seems people are willing to play god as long as it directly benefits them with organ replacements, cosmetic surgery, choosing the sex etc of your baby. Yes this needs to be tested, yes there are justified concerns but all of the above have survived these and we should go ahead.
Craig, Newport, Wales
There are far too many people on this poor planet! If you want kids and can't have them, you should adopt. On the other hand, there are plenty of endangered species and once the technique is perfected it could help ensure the survival of, for example, the great apes.
Nik, Devon, UK
If we lived in a less selfish world, where decisions were taken by those with power for the greater good of everyone, I'd welcome cloning research. However, in the current world in which we live, I think this research should be banned before the technology becomes available to those who will abuse it.
Stuart W, UK
It's quite obvious that our scientific progression with cloning will now allow us to look at our future. The only question we need to be asking is 'Who wants to take on whole responsibility of playing God and all that happens after cloning?' I don't, I'm happy to find ways in which we can all live on one planet together without killing each other or wanting to abandon our own world for another like Mars.
A total ban on all human cloning is, in my opinion, excessive and unnecessary. The potential breakthroughs in medicine that may be realized through cloning are worth the risk. I do believe, though, that cloning should not be permitted as a form of reproduction. If all the reproductive technologies we already have are not sufficient for a couple to conceive, there are many unwanted children in the world to adopt.
Rob M, Calgary, Canada
It seems that there is no stopping cloning now. Since someone is bound to do it sooner or later, why not establish a regulatory body to set standards and ensure observation of ethics in the practice? Condemning cloning will get us nowhere - like other technologies (including the atomic bomb), it will certainly end up being used.
Peter Wanyonyi, Nairobi, Kenya
Clones are simply time-delayed twins. But they are twins will all the genetic-potential of the original. Cloning would allow, for instance, the creation of 10,000 human beings with all the potential brilliance and mathematical genius of Albert Einstein.
Mark Harm, Michigan, United States
Are people so damned selfish that they would rather clone a child from their own genes than give a home to an unwanted or abandoned baby, of which there are thousands crying out for love? I don't believe anyone has a 'right' to have a baby, and certainly not by these methods. Inevitably, if this goes ahead, there will be some hideous deformities born as a result; who is going to look after them? Or do they join the other unwanted children thrown into the orphanage scrap heaps of the world?
Human cloning should be against the law because it's the one thing that goes against nature. It shows mans arrogance that he should want to perpetuate himself as is and as should develop as through children. To me it's a lot of frightened people who are just seeking eternal life. As for growing people to be able to cure diseases is not fair on the clone.
Keith Archer, Nottingham
It's all very well and good saying that cloning may produce brilliant cures for genetic diseases, but what happens when doing so creates new 'super diseases' 10 times worse than what we already have to deal with?
Paula-Ann Bailey, London, UK
I do think that cloning is a very unethical thing. It is against God and nature, and this can only lead to misuse which will lead to dire consequences.
Teresa Bates, Widnes, England
We have imagination and ability as a race, these gifts have allowed us to develop a thing we call Science, Science allows us to apply a logical order to the universe and understand it better. Cloning technology is one stage of that scientific research. The technology is out there now, it is not going away. You can't put the genie back in the bottle.
Now we need to develop this technology in a sensible and controlled manner without knee-jerk reactionary groups shouting 'burn the heretics'.
Anyone who disagrees with this on purely religious grounds, fine that is your right. But since I do not agree with or follow your faith it is my right to completely ignore you and proceed in a more sensible manner.
Stephen Mortimer, Basingstoke, UK
As an identical twin, cloning has no mystery to me, and I am broadly in favour. However, while I see the value of farming stem cells, would we want a full human? My twin brother is messy, loud, and difficult to look after. If you are going to get a clone you must realise that they are a serious responsibility and can be hard work. Don't assume their manners will be as good as yours.
The technology is out there and there will be unscrupulous and unethical people who will use it to clone humans regardless of what controls are put in place. The question is, how will those doctors be dealt with when they violate societies wishes?
Sarah, London, UK
Dr Zavos is not 'helping' couples have children. Based on animal experiments, the majority will be unsuccessful at implantation, even fewer will go to full term and fewer still with have a healthy child. What kind of false hope is he giving these poor deluded couples? And who knows what kind of psychological problems the child will have knowing he/she is the result of all of this experimentation?
Alison, Leeds, UK
Will the average family now be 2.4 + 1, in case someone needs an organ?
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK
Unethical, yes. Inevitable, no. All it takes is for the people to say "stop, no more!!" We can't even seem to control all the damage we do to this planet, the resources it has, we scream about the welfare mothers having babies and yet here they are trying to play God and create a "new and better" way to create more life...there are literally thousands of babies out there in need of homes if childless couples want children...why create these when the ones who are already here the 'natural' way are in so desperate need of help, homes and love?
Anna Beavers, Centre, USA
I think people are confusing bad science fiction with science fact. A clone of a human would be no less human than anyone else; it would be in effect an identical twin. But reproductive cloning is utterly pointless; we already have a more effective way of producing more humans. Tissue and organ cloning on the other hand could bring great benefits.
Colin Wright, UK
What happens to the natural progression of humans? What will happen to evolution if we keep cloning ourselves? Will we keep evolving and progressing or are going to freeze all these millions of years of evolution?
Filippos, Athens, Greece
I think the ethical arguments here are missing the point. What is acceptable to one person is unacceptable to another. However, speaking as a geneticist, the big problem is that the technology of cloning is far from being perfected. A (very) large number of abnormal births still occur with animal cloning and until these problems have been solved a total ban on human cloning (with a view to producing a birth) should be in place. If Dr. Zavos deliberately produces an baby, and this baby turns out to have abnormalities he should be prosecuted under child safety legislation.
Dr. J. Gilbey, Aberdeen
I think a lot of people are being quite unfair. It is entirely reasonable for those individuals who cannot have children to make a decision to have their children created by other means so that the child does actually resemble them and carry their own family traits. There is nothing wrong with wanting to raise your own child carrying your own genes - it is arguably the purpose of life and it is for that reason that it will now never be possible to stop certain determined people from carrying out these "experiments". Talk of playing God - who are you to stop them?
Hugo, Derbys, UK
There is already a population problem on this earth. Dr. Zavos is not helping it.
Research funds should be addressed to more important issues such as the environment, not to promote a science that contradicts itself. Human cloning has no point, no final goal, nothing positive will come out of it.
Pavel Rubin, La Lima, Honduras
Scientists should leave cloning alone. I don't even think they should be cloning animals. Mother Nature knows best and to meddle with the fine balance that has been created will cause problems that humans cannot resolve.
'Just because we can' is exactly the reason we should. As soon as we, as a species, stop striving for progress we lose the essence of what separated us from the animals to begin with. However I don't believe cloning should be used to further overpopulate the planet. If a couple are unable to have a child they should do the socially responsible thing and adopt, solving their problem and providing a home for an unwanted child.
Helen, Birmingham, England
Countless times, humans have been "unethical". Hopefully the cloned ones will teaches us what is to be "ethical" .
Kunasekaran, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Although I am against reproductive cloning, I find some of the comments here about making babies the "fun, old fashioned way" astoundingly ignorant and offensive. Not everyone is privileged to able to do it this way.
Jane, Wales, UK
I remember when 'test-tube' babies were all controversy and news. Now it's an everyday occurrence. Wait another 30 years and then see if cloning is front-page news. I'm sure identical twins, triplets and quads etc. don't suffer identity crisis, despite being natural clones. Keep moving forwards....
Peter, Manchester, England
The main outcry against human cloning would appear to be based on the fact that all humans are individuals and unique. Perhaps detractors should note that it is a combination of nature and nurture that moulds us into who we truly are. One must push the boundaries of human achievement and intellect, space programs, human cloning, gene therapy, etc are important reminders that there is much to be achieved yet.
Darab Khan, London, UK
If cloning isn't legal, then where are all these "pop idols/stars/academy" wannabes coming from? I'm confused.
Phil McRotch, Norwich
Someone should tell Dr Zavos that it's more fun to make babies the old fashion way.
I think cloning is a great idea. It will not be a sentient creature/human being. We all keep spare tyres in the car why not spare body parts?
Carolyne, Manchester, UK
I am against cloning humans (human parts is another matter) - and even more against it considering animal cloning has not been perfected. When the clones suffer premature deaths, illness and dysfunction - they will sue!
In an evolutionary process, all creatures never survive. I would not like to be at the bottom of the genetic fitness scale, but I accept the natural process as a matter of fact. Genetic experiments are taking place all the time. Billions people are the result of billions of years of evolution. Genes are being played with, whether we try to understand and intentionally control it, or not.
Fahd Rafi, Orlando, Florida, USA
Are we so arrogant that we cannot accept that as part of Nature we are born, live and die, and that disease or abnormality will affect us at some point in our lives? Disease is Mother Nature's way of controlling this already over populated world - we don't need designer, let alone cloned babies.
Mary, London, England
I don't see how clones are any less human than identical twins. Talk of removing their "identity" is nonsense. However, I cannot see the value in creating clones for every baby as a "backup" should problems occur. Seems terribly wasteful to me.
Damian Leach, UK
"Playing God" .... are you sure you want to do that? We are simply abusing our science to change the course of nature and make copies of ourselves! I can understand the problems infertile couples go through, but I also know that it is these difficulties that scientists are exploiting to experiment on these couples, just as though they were guinea pigs or something! This cloning issue is a complete contradiction to any ethics or beliefs that still remain in our lives, and we don't want to lose these too, do we? Can't we restrict the use of cloning to animals and use to solve a problem, rather than create one?
Ghada, Cairo, Egypt
Can you imagine growing up and learning that you are a clone? What on earth would that do to your sense of identity and self-esteem! There will be massive social 'side-effects' of human cloning - I wish the scientists would look beyond their noses!
How can you argue that this creates justice in allowing infertile couples to have children is beyond me, it simply creates a further injustice of allowing only wealthy infertile couples the opportunity. I wont even touch on the well voiced ethical arguments that have already been mentioned.
Will Chellam, Liverpool
Undue hue and cry is being raised with regards to human cloning. Sceptics believe cloning could have adverse legal and ethical ramifications these grounds do have basis but when one looks at the benefits of cloning particularly in treating fatal ailments these concerns seem to fade away. Science is a good servant but a bad master hence cloning requires to be regulated.
Kanhaiya Sharma, New Delhi, India
I think that this is highly unethical, because in the race to prove that human cloning is possible nobody is thinking of what life would be like for the resulting child. It would possibly age quickly and would be subject to testing all of its life. The child would be treated as an experiment
Clare S, K'Ford, Dudley
I am confused, on the one hand, it is a huge scientific discovery and shouldn't be stopped if we want to move forward, but on the other, what kind of life will this human have? Am i the only person who has read Frankenstein?!
Charlotte Brown, Stourbridge, England
I believe that cloning a human being is a bad idea; the human race should stay the way it was created. Everyone should be an individual. It is unfair to bring a human into the world and for it to be overcome with experiments. It is not the way for someone to live. Children were made to be loved and to be raised naturally, not to be cloned and used for experiments.
Rachel Cooke, UK
People have to face the facts - human cloning is here and it won't go away. There will always be a place in the world where it can legally happen.
There's nothing "brutal", "ghoulish", it's not a "Frankenstein experiment" any more than Dr Christian Barnard's was when he did the first heart transplant. The backlash we perceive from some people is emotional reaction.
It is no more "meddling with nature than the millions of medical operations that take place each day, whether they be to save a life, or for cosmetic reasons.
What should be addressed are the legal aspects, adequate medical ethics control and legal protection of such children, so that they are not abandoned at birth, sold to other couples, used as a 'designer baby system' and similar ugly fates that theoretically cold await them.
I believe that human cloning is immoral as every person should be unique and individual. The chance should not be given to parents to allow them to make clones of themselves. Men and women were made for children to be created naturally and the children to be loved by their parents regardless of their sex or appearance
Eleanor, Dudley, UK
What's the problem? If people want to make babies without all the fun, then that's their choice! We should just leave the scientists alone to play with all their new toys! It could also help to cure illnesses such as cancer. I believe that cloning human embryo's is a small step for man, a big step for 'clone kind'.
Kayleigh, Dudley, UK
I'd rather my child shared my partner's genes too, especially as his family have better teeth than mine!
Helen, Bristol UK
What we think about cloning is irrelevant; now that it has been proved to be possible sooner or later it will happen.
When has world opinion ever successfully halted the advance of science and industry?
Richard Read, UK
There are enough unwanted children in the world to ensure any childless couple needing to fill a void in their lives can do so by adoption. Governments around the world should try to make things easier for genuine couples to adopt internationally. the reckless cloning of humans will only lead to further misery and problems in a world that has enough of both. Who's to say that clones will be accepted in society and would not be a new target for the bigots and racist type elements among us? Please do not go down this road, it is far too dangerous.
Chris Andrews, Townsville, GLD, Australia
If cloning is against God's will and he had the power to create us in his image that must mean that he also had the power to define our abilities as a race. However, cloning must be restricted by our own morals.
Craig, Warrington, UK
I really do not think that "morality" should play a part in the advancement of science. If this can help people and their babies; why not?
Lisa, Harare, Zimbabwe
Dangerous way to meddle with nature. But then again, every species tries to secure their survival. Human beings are very vulnerable compared to other species, such as bacteria/viruses. We even rely on bacteria to survive. So, it could just be last, desperate attempt of the human brain to induce action to make survival possible. If we were such a wonderful creation why would we always be overcome by our own weaknesses (hunger, many major illnesses).
Alex Keel, London, UK
Though I'm all for therapeutic cloning and its benefits for a better quality life.... Unfortunately, it's too late in the day to accept that someone, somewhere would not attempt to do what Dr Zavos claims. The sad thing is that we as humans don't know where to draw the line in this technological man-made rat race. Who wants to be part of this Frankenstein experiment? NOT me.
Naveet, Hong Kong
I think that human cloning is not the right thing to do. I also don't think that as a parent who has lost a child that is the right means to produce a child. It takes away the individuality of a person. And that is wrong.
Amy, Rochester USA
I, for one, am all for cloning - could they start by cloning me so someone else could take half my workload?
I do not believe that cloning is a good thing. They start with experiments then before you know it the process is acceptable. And within a decade governments are producing soldiers. Conglomerates are producing factory workers. None of these clones will have rights. Human life will be cheap and the cloned humans will be disgruntled to say the least. Consequence: the clones will fight the non cloned humans for rights, and the stuff of science fiction will become a reality.
Bob H, Hertfordshire
You can't stop evolution, and cloning will happen. It's a matter of when, where and how, not if.
Paul Weaver, London, UK
Cloning in this brutish way is wrong as to get to a point where it is even allegedly proven and safe will require the ghoulish creation of many, many individuals along the way who will have confused, short, painful and distressing lives. Better to understand how a natural identical twin is created and go from there.
While I disagree with cloning to create a new human life, if for no other reason than this world is overburdened through natural methods, I still feel a limited application of this technology could be used as a means to save those who would otherwise have had little chance of survival.
Stephen, Sheffield, England
Just because we can do it, doesn't mean we should.
The arrogance that underpins this appalling venture is of Hitlerian proportions.
The cloning of full humans has no scientific advantage and is a complete waste of valuable research and knowledge. Cloning of organs or development of medicines coming from cloning of cells is a more valuable exercise.
Ed, Cheshire, England
Human cloning is the ultimate perversion of our ultra-materialistic society. Humans are no longer regarded as creative, unique individuals any more but rather spare parts for the science machine.
It must be unethical because the success rate in animals is still poor, and even when "success" has been achieved the cloned animal has from a high rate of ill health after birth and during its life.
John Ley, High Wycombe, UK
Why not do it? People are always saying it is unethical and immoral. And yet we still build bombs and guns for the sole purpose of killing other human beings. Cloning can aid mankind, therefore if we can do it, we should.
Marc, Bournemouth, UK
Aldous Huxley wrote "Brave New World" in the early 1930s. He envisioned a world in which all babies were cloned. Take this idea to its logical conclusion, and the results are tragic and terrifying. Read the book and you will be left in no doubt, this should not be done.
P Derek, London, England
Do not forget that cloning uses 'old' DNA. Over time DNA strand ends (the telomeres) reduce to give cells an aging effect. Therefore, cloned embryos start off old before their time. This led to the early demise of Dolly.
I think that the issue of human cloning is extremely complex and does not lend itself to simplification. In general, I think the traditional way to create babies is superior both in terms of fun and in terms of introducing genetic variability. Stem cell banks may offer some medical tools to deal with genetic diseases, but the moral issues are troublesome. But those who criticise "playing God" should realise that every parent plays God in having and raising a child. Many of us do a very poor job of it at present; so we should not be too pompous about the status quo.
Chris Wiegard, Chester, Virginia, USA
For those who say we are playing God, this is far from it. If changing our environment and ourselves is playing, then we have done so since the first cavemen rubbed two sticks to start a fire or carved out a wheel. We can never be God nor do we want to achieve that goal. We can only be human and that is what we shall always be. No matter far we have come we have still have more we do not know.
A. Kaul, NYC, USA
This is a bad move, and sets a dangerous precedent. It should be banned now. We haven't needed it for thousands of years and we don't need it now.
Steve, Surbiton, UK
I'm all for cloning, especially if they can remove the genes responsible for incompetence and stupidity in the human race. Who knows, our children's children might have perfect lives.
Human cloning has huge potential for abuse. We know very little about the process itself and what the impact would be. Doctors are playing God, which is immoral and unethical.
Kelly Barton, Warwick University, Warwickshire
In the beginning God created the Earth.. and everything in it. Finding cures etc is commendable, tampering with God's creation in this way is certainly not. God is the creator, we need to leave it that way.
Noel Halsey, Milton Keynes
Technology is expanding at an amazing rate. However, scientific studies should be assessed over five to 10 years to see the cause and consequence of these radical steps!
Archaic human values should not interfere with scientific progress. Values change from generation to generation but scientific progress is a constant human goal.
I wonder how the cloned person will feel about this once he (or she) is old enough to fully comprehend everything.
How depressing to realise that you are not a unique creation, but rather just a photocopy of another person.
Timothy Germann, New Jersey, USA
When IVF was imperfect and unreliable we perfected it on animals - why can't we do the same with cloning? Is it because people are more interested in the fame of being first?
James Clarke, UK
The whole point of human life is that no two people are the same. Everyone is unique, and that's what makes people special. Cloning goes against this completely. And if we're already mucking up nature and natural processes, who knows what'll happen to us in the next 50 years? Life is natural and special; we have no right to be messing with something so amazing and special.
Kate, Warrington, UK
You can't stop progress.
David C, UK
It's not a human right to have a child. If you can't have a child naturally it's very sad, but does not give you the right to create or destroy life at your whim.
Melanie, Cambridgeshire, UK
Personally I don't think it's a good idea, but someone somewhere is bound to do it simply because it's possible. The results will then determine whether anyone else is prepared to go through with it. And, no Kieron. Darwin would not have approved because there is genetic change involved, and therefore no possibility of improvement.
John Cahill, London, UK
I am not against the human cloning per se, but I am against its premature implementation. The FDA takes 12 years to approve an anti-allergic drug and here people are conducting live human experiments with a technique which is not even 10% understood in animals. This is gross violation of scientific methods, you do not go and conduct nuclear explosion without first making sure it would not touch anybody.
Vikas Abraham, New Delhi, India
While I agree that cloning for medical purposes, i.e. providing stem cells, is the most 'ethically sound' out of the lot, I think we shouldn't lose sight of the fact that this is another step on the path to the concept of 'individuals' being lost forever. We have tampered with the evolutionary process enough already. 'God' is not to blame for all the food shortages and the Aids epidemics, we are.
Mike W, Wootton Bassett, Wilts, UK.
What if the baby is born disabled? Will the parents flush it away and try again? Or are they willing to accept the consequences of their meddling?
A Bright, Plymouth
All cloning is unethical and dangerous. There should be a global embargo on all research and researchers should face heavy penalties for continuing research.
Roger Davis, Ajax, ON, Canada
Interesting idea this doctor has, but do we really need more people on this planet?. With so many people going hungry and drinking unclean water, is it moral to bring new life into this sorry cycle of events?
Clive, Dartford, UK
These people play God with no thought at all for the individual they may produce. I think it should be stopped.
Mr. Leslie Wilcock, Welshpool
I am in favour of cloning in general, but the procedure is still so far too risky that it would be a crime to inflict it on prospective parents at this stage.
T Anderson, Doncaster, Britain
Medically this is good news but morally we should be scared as this is a peep into the unknown. It is quite easy to control human beings that are born biologically, but can we say the same about the clones?
Michael Salami, London England
Evolution and development happens for a reason: to help a species to survive. With new technology like this, we can help civilization to develop. The only thing that is stopping us is the fact that every potential development gets challenged by people questioning the ethics. I am sure Darwin would be fine with it.
Kieron M, UK
I am not adverse to new technology but I believe such a step is fundamentally wrong. Such work is a step towards direct intervention in the evolution and further progress of our species. To do this is to assume that we have reached the pinnacle of life that nature can achieve by herself.
All new technology is viewed by the small-minded as unethical. Technology is amoral - it's what's done with it which may be moral or immoral, ethical or unethical.
David Fisher, Manchester
I don't see why they shouldn't clone babies. It must be awful to be a mother to a child you are ashamed of.
It's playing God.
Muhammad Asghar Ibrahim, Luton, UK
Human cloning should certainly not go ahead. But it appears to be difficult to prevent it in the UK. We allow the cloning of embryos for research, but how can we prevent a scientist implanting one of those embryos into a woman? We can't watch their every move and we certainly couldn't force the woman to abort the baby.
Patrick Leahy, UK
Whatever some scientists like to think, human beings are not just another form of animal. It takes more than the sum of their physical parts to make a person. The whole idea of scientists trying to, literally, play God, is dangerous and repulsive in the extreme. Where will this manipulation end?
Catherine Davies, Bristol, England
It took the Dolly team 277 attempts (i.e. 277 embryos) to successfully clone a sheep; the cloning of a human is much more difficult, where the chances for damage to the embryo are much more likely. Even if we ignore all the ethical and moral issues, the chances of a baby being born without congenital abnormalities are slim. Furthermore, where, and how, did Zavos et al obtain all the required embryos?
Talha Patel, Bolton, UK