George Church is a geneticist at Harvard University and he has some far-reaching plans. His aim is to clone a Neanderthal.
This is his suggestion after having managed to produce DNA from skeletal remains that belonged to a neanderthal.
Very Old Cousins
The Neanderthals are a now-extinct species or subspecies within the genus Homo and closely related to modern humans.
They partly evolved in and around Europe and the first proto-Neanderthal traits appeared in Europe as early as 600,000 to 350,000 years ago.
From Theory to Reality
What might seem as a not so serious suggestion, George Church is actually looking for an “adventurous woman” who would act as a surrogate mother and give birth to this cloned neanderthal baby.
George Church said to Spiegel Online.; “I can create a Neanderthal baby if I can find a willing woman,” “We have lots of Neanderthal parts around the lab. We are creating Neanderthal cells. Let’s say someone has a healthy, normal Neanderthal baby. Well, then, everyone will want to have a Neanderthal kid. Were they superstrong or supersmart? Who knows? But there’s one way to find out.”
In 2009, Church and his team managed to clone an animal of the now extinct Pyrenean Ibexa also known as Iberian wild goat. It died however shortly after birth.
George Church, Ph.D.
Interview with George Church: Can Neanderthals Be Brought Back from the Dead?