Pro-cloning group claims to have embryos
By Elizabeth Cohen and MIriam Falco
ATLANTA (CNN) -- A controversial group claims to be well on its way to creating the first human clone, CNN has learned.
Clonaid, which operates a secret lab outside the United States, said Monday it had created cloned human embryos before Advanced Cell Technology, the Massachusetts lab that announced Sunday it had created embryos through cloning.
Clonaid, unlike Advanced Cell Technology, wants to use its embryos to impregnate a woman and produce a clone. Advanced Cell Technology said it wants to keep its embryos at the microscopic stage and use them only in the production of medical treatments.
CNN could not confirm Clonaid's claims since the group has not published its work.
Clonaid is an offshoot of the Raelians, a group that calls itself a religion and believes extraterrestrial beings created life on Earth. Some outside the group have questioned whether its scientists have the know-how to create a clone.
According to Clonaid's director, Brigitte Boisellier, their embryos are at a more advanced stage than those created by Advanced Cell Technology.
"We are indeed doing human cloned embryos and we have many (cell) divisions," Boisellier said. "I will not tell you whether there has been any implantation or if there's any pregnancy."
She said the group's embryos have reached the blastocyst stage, which is more advanced than the six-cell embryos created by Advanced Cell Technology.
In March, Boisellier said a woman would be pregnant with a clone by April. Now she says she will not give a timeline for the baby, but does plan to announce the baby's birth.
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House hearings turn skeptical eye on cloning
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Human embryo created through cloning
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Group: Clone research 'going very nicely'
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Human cloning attempt to be outlined Tuesday
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'Raelian' biochemist insists she will clone human
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The Raelian Revolution
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