Wanted: Harvard Professor Seeks ‘Adventurous Woman’ To Give Birth To Cloned Neanderthal Baby

Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Science with 4 Comments

Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can reconstruct Neanderthal DNA.  His ambitious plan requires a human volunteer willing to allow the DNA to be put into stem cells, then a human embryo.

(By Allan Hall and Fiona Macrae | MailOnline)

They’re usually thought of as a brutish, primitive species.

So what woman would want to give birth to a Neanderthal baby?

Yet this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct close relative back to life.

Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can reconstruct Neanderthal DNA and resurrect the species which became extinct 33,000 years ago.

His scheme is reminiscent of Jurassic Park but, while in the film dinosaurs were created in a laboratory, Professor Church’s ambitious plan requires a human volunteer.

He said his analysis of Neanderthal genetic code using samples from bones is complete enough to reconstruct their DNA.

He said: “Now I need an adventurous female human… It depends on a hell of a lot of things, but I think it can be done.”

Professor Church’s plan would begin by artificially creating Neanderthal DNA based on genetic code found in fossil remains. He would put this DNA into stem cells.

These would be injected into cells from a human embryo in the early stages of life.

It is thought that the stem cells would steer the development of the hybrid embryo on Neanderthal lines, rather than human ones.

After growing in the lab for a few days, the ‘neo-Neanderthal’ embryo would be implanted in the womb of a surrogate mother – the volunteer. Professor Church, 58, is a pioneer in synthetic biology who helped initiate the Human Genome Project that mapped our DNA.

He says Neanderthals were not the lumbering brutes of the  stereotype, but highly intelligent. Their brains were roughly the same size as man’s, and they made primitive tools.

He believes his project could benefit mankind.

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  1. kateykr@gmail.com' KT says:

    I adore science- it’s a beautiful self-correcting philosophy that is more than willing to learn from its mistakes (which is more than religion can say). But if we did succeed in bringing something to life from some DNA we’ve captured in whatever way, that being is going to have a soul. Any consciousness at all is indication that something has a soul. So the most basic and obvious question is an enormous matter of ethics in our own souls.

    We each ought to take the mere second or two to ask: how would I feel were I brought into a world merely for testing purposes? To be poked and prodded until I was black and blue and probably electrocuted, “Just to see,”…? My point is that this of course should not be allowed to happen. There are things we just shouldn’t do, even though we can.

  2. kateykr@gmail.com' KT says:

    …And there’s not one thing in this world you can’t justify if you really want to. So tell me all you want that this will ‘help man-kind.’ I don’t believe you- and besides, we could already help ourselves, we could all have food, and shelter, and water, but we don’t help one another because we don’t CARE enough to. This proposed torturing of yet another being for its whole sad life is not going to change a thing, it just won’t.

  3. kiku@hot.ee' Kristel says:

    What a horrific idea. And sad part is that there are, I’m sure, many woman willing to ‘help out’.

  4. Deep Space says:

    Insane. For God’s sake, DON’T DO IT!

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