|Although mostly known for his
announcement of plans to clone the first human,
Richard Seed has an extensive background in fertility
treatment and embryo research.
While attending Oak Park/River Forest High School, Seed cultivated an interest in chemistry and physics, including a childhood wish to win the Nobel Prize. After high school Seed attended Harvard University, where, unlike two of his brothers, he did not study medicine. Instead, he concentrated on physics, eventually earning a Ph.D from Harvard in nuclear physics.
Image courtesy CNN Chicago
Seed first turned to reproductive technology 20 years ago, when he founded a company to transfer embryos from prize cows to surrogate mothers. Later, Seed was part of a team that conducted the first human embryo transfer. After perfecting the fertility technique on animals, Seed attempted to apply it to humans by founding Fertility and Genetics in the 1980s. Seed used the technique to move fertilized eggs from healthy women, inseminated days before, to those with fertility problems. This effort resulted in publications in The Lanat and The Journal of the American Medical Association, whose 1984 article reported the birth of a healthy child. Despite the attention, embryo transfer never gained prominence over the competing technology, in-vitro fertilization, and the company failed.
Now 69, Seed is eager to gain investors for his latest fertility technique, needing around $2 million to initially finance a human cloning clinic. Currently, he rents lab space at the University of Illinois for his own research, and hopes to eventually establish a clinic in the United States. If regulation is passed in the United States forbidding cloning, Seed plans to move his operation to Mexico and continue to research and develop cloning technology.
Copyright 1998 by team 24355 and Kayotic Development.