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Dr. Zavos's transcript during a live chat on America Online (AOL Chat)

Thursday, May 30, 2002.

Dr Zavos sitting at Dan Rather's anchor desk at the CBS News Studio during his recent visit at CBS,
Dr Zavos sitting at Dan Rather's anchor desk at the CBS News Studio during his recent visit at CBS,
May 28, 2002.

 


HOST RL Peregrin: Hello everyone... and good evening. welcome to our special chat on cloning :)

DOCTOR ZAVOS: A very good evening to all of you

HOST RL Peregrin: Our guest tonight is Dr Zavos. To clone or not to clone? Dr. Zavos is a true pioneer and is recognized worldwide as a leading researcher and authority in the areas of cloning technology. He is featured in the National Geographic Explorer's June 2 television premiere, 'Clone!', 8PM ET on MSNBC.

Cloning technology has long captured the public imagination, but the birth of the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, has showed us that this technology has become a reality. What will happen if we can grow organs and regenerate cells, and if we fundamentally change how babies are made? Welcome with us, our special guest, Dr Zavos.

Welcome Doctor :)

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Thank you, very good to be here!

HOST RL Peregrin: Doctor, would you like to make a statement before we begin taking questions?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Sure I do. As we informed the Congress 10 days ago, the year 2002 will be the year of the clones I believe that this show which premieres on National Geographic Explorer will explain the various aspects of the cloning, and the various facets and dimensions that this extremely powerful technology can bring to the world I urge everyone to watch this special. MSNBC 8pm, check your listings.

Houlie718: Dr. Zavos where did you go to school?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well, I went to college at Emporia State University in Kansas and received three of my degrees from there, and I received my PhD from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Kersh5000: I am 31 weeks and am losing weight. Why ?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well Kersh it is difficult to tell just by speaking to you.

Kersh5000: do I need to be worried, it's 10 pounds in a month.

DOCTOR ZAVOS: It is not a normal trend and expect that you should go and see your OB/GYN and find out why you are losing the weight. Continue an intake of the proper amount of food and see your OB/GYN as soon as possible.

RENDEZVOUS111: When we get to the point of cloning whole persons, and we will, where does the soul fit in?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well the issue about a soul is abstract. It is very diffiicult to tell but I can assure you that clones will have souls because God gives every human being that is born in this world a soul. And as you may know, God also clones by creating identical twins at birth. The evidence we have is that all clones have souls and lead a very happy life.

HOST RL Lamb: what do you see as the most promising aspect of cloning? curing diseases or something else?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: This is a multiple question, and so therefore the answer should be all of the above. I see great potential in giving diseased people back their health and infertile couples who cannot have biological children of their own, they can now complete the life process along with the rest of us, and enjoy life. This has tremendous potential and we have not even begun harvesting the full potential of the technology. Some of our polititians in this country wish to close the door on this technology, and that is very sad.

Supax: Will this technology that might soon assist a few people in industrialized countries filter down to developing countries where sanitation and vaccination are a primary concern? Will it reduce the cost of future drugs?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: There's no doubt in my mind that if this technology is developed and guided by the world leaders, properly, it will benefit all peoples on this earth. Obviously, on the basis of what I know, similar technologies such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) that has great similarities to the cloning technology, has managed to reach allparts of the world and all societies of the world. And cloning will do the same.

Houlie718: How much participation do you receive from the U.S. government? In legislation? In finance?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Nothing, zero. The US government not only has not given us any support financially or otherwise, but they have made our lives miserable. We've received a great deal more support from other governments in this world, and that surprised us immensly. We in science would like to portay to the world that we are morally and ethically correct, but that is an illusion. We in America Must take the leadership on this effort, and the world demands that from us.

RENDEZVOUS111: I say continue the progress and maybe someday we'll be able to create the perfect human race.

DOCTOR ZAVOS: My reaction to your comment is that we already have a perfect human race.We have NO intention of genetically modifying people and creating "designer" babies, but rather in assisting infertile couples in having biological children of their own.

SFNYC2002: How does cloning effect the person who is cloned?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: I would think that it should not have any effect at all because that person who is cloned for reproductive purposes, will look at that cloned person as their own son or daughter or babies and love it as we all love our children.

HOST RL Hydrokat: Where does your research grant originate from?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: We have no such research grants. Therefore they do not originate from anywhere. All we have received so for for research have come from private sources.

Katalind: See the television premiere - CLONE! - 8PM ET on MSNBC, Sunday June 2. Check your local listings.

Supax: If we are to clone people, there will be many painful and dramatic failures, is this risk worth it considering there is hardly a population shortage on this planet?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: We are very much aware of the shortfalls of this technology at this moment based upon the animal research which has been done so far. However, we feel that by taking this technology to the human level, those shortfalls and mishaps that have been published and publicized so heavily by the animal cloners will diminish significantly. The very important aspect about human and animal reproduction is that when we experiment on humans, we either do it right or we do not do it. The opposite is correct when it comes to the animal cloning efforts thus far. One must understand that the incidence of mishaps takes place when someone is reproduced naturally and that incidence of mishaps is almost 5%. When you get above age 40 for the woman, that incidence could double or triple. Similar trends have been established when emplying in-vitro fertilization techniques. However, neither natural reproduction nor in-vitro fertilization have been stopped due to those mishaps. Life goes on.

Houlie718: Where do you feel cloning will stand in the future? Politically.

DOCTOR ZAVOS: I believe that cloning will take the same route as in-vitro fertilization has taken 24 years ago. Initially IVF was banned in the US from 1978 to 1981 And today, probably most of our politicians have a child or grandchild produced via IVF. The founder, Robert Edwards who produced the first IVF baby stated recently that cloning will come to be accepted just like IVF was and it will be a matter of time that it becomes politically correct as well as ethically correct to have a child via cloning. Time is on our side to have a child via cloning.

RENDEZVOUS111: Then why all the sickness,physical and psychologically if we are all so perfect? Darwins theory!

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well this is as perfect as we can be and God wanted us to be this way in order to appreciate the good, the bad, and the ugly. We will never be perfect as long as we are on this earth, we can only aim for perfection. Therefore we can only be very pleased with what we are today!

HOST RL Lamb: what happens to the human clones if they are not used in implantations? Who gets to select the parents to start the process of cloning the child?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: The same thing should happen as what we do today with IVF, they get stored in an embryo bank for later use as dictated by their parents. There are three choices that normally people have when they store embryos in an IVF tissue bank. One is to reuse it. Destroy it. Or put it up for adoption for somebody else if someone wants to adopt that embryo. The same principles should apply to those embryos produced via cloning.

As to who gets to select the parents .... The parents choose the parents. They will go to an IVF program and volunteer. They must have some degree of infertility. The parents are the ones who dictate as to whether they choose to reproduce via cloning. No one else does but them. If anyone wishes to go to my web site, they may do so at www.zavos.org

HOST RL Hydrokat: What public policies have been imposed on your technology by any world government so far?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: This is a very good question! You get an A on this one <G>

HOST RL Hydrokat: <laughing>

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Various governments in this world are reacting in a number of different ways and ironically they are doing so prematurely, and sadly, without being well informed about the subject. There have been various laws passed in various governments such as England, which is one of the pioneering countries that allow therapeutic cloning only under very strict conditions. But no reproductive cloning under any circumstances. Other governments have tried to imitate the British stand on cloning such as Australia, which happens to be a territory of the British. The majority of the countries, although they have expressed an opinion they have failed to act legislatively to allow or permit cloning to take place. One of those countries is the US. The is a debate, which I regard as very healthy, but it has not prompted the US Senate as yet to take the issue up for debate and legislation.

Katalind: See the television premiere - CLONE! - 8PM ET on MSNBC, Sunday June 2. Check your local listings.

HOST RL Peregrin: Doctor how do you respond to the people expressing fears of cloning for the purpose of harvesting organs or parts?

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Great follow up question This is exactly what the enemies of cloning are trying to portray to the people that they represent or associate with that this technology will allow us to produce people for spare parts. This is totally out of line and untrue, and I don't believe any society will allow that to happen. Let alone in America.

I believe that our President, George W. Bush during his recent statement referred to such language, which was merely political and very far removed from what is reality. It is time that we tell the people the truth and not gain politically from spreading untrue statements and distorting the facts. Where would we be manufacturing people for spare parts, if all we do is merely doing what IVF has allowed us to do for 24 years; that is, create embryos which will be transferred to the womb of a woman to bear a child. Where would spare parts come into that picture? All the spare parts statements are made for political gains and nothing else.

Katalind: National Geographic: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/explorer/index.html

Houlie718: Do you think it is possible to make superhumans that could maybe lift boulders or run like cheetahs? i had to ask

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Well, this is a hypothetical question and I can answer it in the same fashion. That is, we can genetically modify any particular group of genes to do incredible things today and much more in the future. We should never design humans to specifications, and that is one area where I agree with President Bush. Therefore I urge everyone to watch the special on Clones which premieres on National Geographic Explorer on June 2nd at 8pm Eastern time. You will be immensely benefited from watching this show.

RENDEZVOUS111: You dance around questions when you know damn well whats going on out there, especially with those that have unlimited funds

Houlie718: getting things off our chest?

RENDEZVOUS111: yes!

DOCTOR ZAVOS: My comment is that I never dance around those questions. Those are the facts of life, reality.

HOST RL Peregrin: Thank you so much doctor for your time with us!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Thank you so much for coming tonight everyone.

Houlie718: thanks doctor

HOST RL Peregrin: <<<<<APPLAUSE>>>>

DOCTOR ZAVOS: Please come to my web site, www.zavos.org

HOST RL Neon: Excellent job, Doctor!

Houlie718: clap clap clap clap

HOST RL Hydrokat: Thank you to everyone! :o)
<virtual applause>

 


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