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Human Cloning Controversy

FDA trying to halt company's research

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is trying to stop efforts to clone a human being, but the company involved says it will go ahead anyway.

According to an article from CNN, the chief scientist at Clonaid says she is confident the company will soon be able to clone a human being. Brigitte Boisselier says that the main obstacles are not scientific, but have to do with federal government intervention.

The company was created in 1997 by a religious group called the Raelians, which claims that extraterrestrials used genetic engineering to create life on Earth. The group, which has about 55,000 members in 84 countries, is lead by a man who dresses in a white spacesuit uniform and claims to have contact with creatures who travel about in a UFO. Clonaid is funded by a man who wants to clone his 10-month-old son, who died after a heart operation.

The group, which was asked to leave the Bahamas, set up operations in the United States last year. A few weeks after it opened a lab, the FDA visited. The FDA says it has sent Boisselier a letter informing her that it has jurisdiction over any research on human cloning.

Clonaid is not alone in its efforts to clone a human being. At the University of Kentucky, a professor named Panayiotis Zavos says he's about a year away from cloning a person. Some scientists agree it can be done, others warn that cloning could lead to the creation of dead or deformed babies.

To find out more about human cloning, you can read this statement against it from the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, or you can read this information about the benefits of cloning from Science Matters.

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