After a carnival-like congressional hearing, replete with costumed witnesses discussing aliens and asserting that biotechnology will deliver on the promise of eternal life, human cloning is back in the headlines.

The intentions of an extraterrestrial-worshipping religious group called the Raelians to clone a human, and the more credible cloning plans of an international team of human fertility experts caught the attention of policy makers, elicited new calls in Congress for laws to prohibit human cloning and a commitment from the White House to sign an anti-cloning bill if it reaches President Bush's desk.