Two scientists working at a laboratory in Oxfordhire claim to have cloned themselves, resulting in a totally new life form. The creature is like a miniature human being, at less than 50cm long and weighing just 3.5kg.
Dr Quentin Nerd and fellow biologist Dr Andrea Geek nurtured the creature from a single cell containing DNA, which they claim contained all the genetic information necessary for the life to develop on its own.
"This is a real breakthrough for us", said Dr Nerd. "We succeeded where others have failed, and we're really excited about the successfulness of the novel method used."
He said that other scientists had attempted similar experiments but got nowhere. Dr Nerd and Dr Geek's breakthrough discovery was that by combining two cells from different sources, the cells combine to form what they are calling the "life cell". The second part of the discovery was in making the right conditions to nurture the cell. Dr Geek abandoned the idea of traditional laboratory glassware, and actually used her own body to grow the cell.
"We believed the temperature and many other factors offered favourable conditions", she said, "so I tried it, and it worked".
Dr Nerd and Dr Geek hope the discovery will mean that in future, almost anyone will be able to create these life forms, and eventually millions of them will exist, and be able to perform difficult or tedious jobs that are currently done by humans.
Nerd told us that the experiment was by no means easy. "The human laboratory eventually became too small", he explained, "and in the end Andrea had to go to a hospital where experts removed the being via an orifice in Dr Geek's body."
We asked the pair what they propose to call the life form, but they couldn't agree.
Not everyone shares their enthusiasm, however. Both Dr Nerd and Dr Geek were summarily dismissed from the laboratory last September for what a spokesperson described as "an extremely lewd act" throughout a genetics lecture. The pair have defended their actions, saying it was an 'essential step' in the experiment and they would do it again without hesitation.