"A maverick fertility expert has revealed hard evidence of a controversial attempt to produce the world's first cloned human baby.
Panos Zavos, a reproductive scientist, created a storm in 2004 when he called a press conference in London to announce he had cloned a human embryo from the skin cells of an infertile man and transferred it to the uterus of the man's wife. He later said the transfer had failed and the woman did not become pregnant, but many scientists doubted whether he had performed the experiment at all.
Most cloning and fertility experts say such a move to create a clone baby would be unethical and dangerous for mother and child - few female animals implanted with cloned embryos carry them to term or give birth to healthy offspring. The idea could not be taken seriously, they said, until Dr Zavos, who is based at the University of Kentucky and runs a private fertility clinic in Cyprus, published his results and methods in a scientific journal.
Details have now appeared in this month's issue of the Archives of Andrology - effectively placing the experiments on the scientific record, albeit in a little-known specialist journal.
In the paper, Dr Zavos and his colleague Karl Illmensee described how they copied the technique used by UK scientists to make Dolly the sheep - known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). They said they took DNA from the man's skin cells and fused it inside three eggs taken from the woman's ovaries, which were given a burst of electricity to encourage them to develop as embryos.
After three days, the paper said, one of the embryos had reached the four-cell stage and "was subsequently transferred into the patient's uterus". Two weeks later, blood tests showed the 35-year-old woman was not pregnant." - GuardianUK