Richard Seed, who provoked controversy earlier this year by announcing plans to clone humans, said that the first person he will try to copy will be himself, The Boston Globe reported Sunday.
Seed said his wife, Gloria, has agreed to carry an embryo that would be created by combining the nucleus of one of his cells with a donor egg, the newspaper said.
"I have decided to clone myself first to defuse the criticism that I'm taking advantage of desperate women with a procedure that's not proven," the 69-year-old physicist said Saturday at a meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences, a group of academic researchers.
Seed declined to give his wife's age, but described her as "post-menopausal." He refused to give details of how the pregnancy would work.
The Chicago scientist has three Harvard degrees, including a Ph.D., but no medical degree, no money and no institutional backing. He has vowed to produce a pregnancy with a human clone within 2 1/2 years.
Cloning would be the first step in discovering immortality, Seed said Saturday during his talk. He also said he has received hundreds of calls, including many from parents of dying children who want to clone them.
People at the conference said cloning could be used to produce a child for an infertile couple, to replace a dead child or to produce a child who could donate bone marrow or other vital tissue to a sick family member.
Two states, California and Michigan, have outlawed human cloning and dozens of other states are considering bans.
A five-year moratorium on cloning is apparently being observed by mainstream scientists, but Congress has failed to act on legislation to outlaw the procedure.
Seed has said that if Congress bans cloning, he will move his operation to Tijuana, Mexico.