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'Second cloned human born'

Clonaid has claimed another success in creating the second cloned human, born to a Dutch lesbian couple. Neither 'Eve' nor the second clone baby have been confirmed as a clone by DNA tests.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2003 18:01 IST

Clonaid, the company that claims to have produced the first human clone on December 27, 2002, said on Saturday that a second cloned baby has been born to a Dutch lesbian couple.

Neither baby has been shown to the public or confirmed to be a clone by genetic testing, with DNA identical to that of its mother, and mainstream scientists are skeptical of the company's claims.

Brigitte Boisselier, Clonaid's chief executive and top scientist, told CNN that the girl was born on Friday night, but did not to say where or disclose her name. Clonaid spokeswoman Nadine Gary said earlier that the parents were not in the Netherlands.

"I talked to them just a few hours ago, and they are very, very happy," Boisselier said. "Everything is going fine. The doctors who have been with the little baby said that everything is fine."

"Imagine how thrilled I am now that there are two and they are perfectly healthy. Probably the second one might be easier for the test than the first one, as you say, there is no proof." The parents of the first baby, Clonaid claims to have cloneda girl named 'Eve' purportedly born on Dec 27 to US parents,have blocked DNA testing.

Until genetic tests have been done on the babies and their mothers, Clonaid will face a steep uphill battle convincing the world the babies are clones.

"I stick to my word. You will have the tests done whether it's tomorrow or in a week or in a month. They will be done and you will have everything," Boisselier said.

Other scientists have successfully cloned pigs and sheep, but the technology is not reliable: cloning attempts have a high failure rate, and many animal clones are born with birth defects and abnormalities.

Almost all scientists agree that it is unethical to attempt to clone humans with the technology in its current state, and some doubt Clonaid has the technical ability to do so.

Cloning of humans is prohibited in the Netherlands under a law passed in September 2002, but the law does not specifically outlaw giving birth to a cloned child.

First Published: Jan 08, 2003 11:33 IST