Who Am I?

Severino Antinori


I'm Italian fertility specialist Severino Antinori and I play a mad scientist on TV. My latest bombshell, delivered with a pitch-perfect, central-casting villain accent? That the world's first cloned human baby will be born in January. (Hey, Panos Zavos, the Bela Lugosi to my Boris Karloff, look upon my recent press clippings and despair!) There's a strong case to be made that folks like me accomplish little more than fueling the Huxleyian anxieties of anti-cloning activists who want to stop all forms of cloning, including the therapeutic variety. Ah well, they don't call us mad scientists for nothin'.

Here's the genetic rub: I may have been beaten out by the Raelians, a Canadian free-love sect that runs UFOland, a Quebec theme park. The chief scientist of Clonaid, the biotech company the Raelians started five years ago, has said that the clone will be delivered via C-section, maybe even on Christmas Day.

Sure, their story—like mine—reeks of fakery. But if the Raelians can build the world's largest structure made of hay bales, cloning a human must seem like child's play.