Wanted: ‘Adventurous woman’ to give birth to Neanderthal man – Harvard professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby

EEV: Update: Professor Claims his was misunderstood, and is not looking for a Neanderthal Mother:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/im-no-dr-moreau-harvard-professor-says-he-is-not-looking-for-a-woman-to-give-birth-to-a-neanderthal-blaming-reports-on-a-poor-translation-8461707.html

By  Allan Hall

PUBLISHED: 10:36 EST, 20  January 2013 |  UPDATED: 12:49 EST, 20 January 2013

Back to life: This model of Neanderthal Man shows what the extinct species may have once looked like
Back to life: This model of Neanderthal Man shows what  the extinct species may have once looked like

A leading geneticist is on the hunt for an  ‘adventurous woman’ to help turn back the hands of time – and give birth to a  Neanderthal baby.

George Church, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical  School, believes he can bring back the extinct ancestor of modern man after more  than 33,000 years.

Contrary to popular belief, Neanderthals were  in fact a highly intelligent race and  Prof Church believes they could be recreated through modern medicine.

He told German magazine, Der  Spiegel: ‘I  have already managed to  attract enough DNA from fossil bones to  reconstruct the DNA of the human  species largely extinct. Now I need an  adventurous female human.

‘It depends on a lot of things, but I think  it can be done. The reason I would  consider it a  possibility is that a bunch of technologies are developing faster  than  ever before.

‘In particular, reading and writing DNA is  now about a  million times faster than seven or eight years ago.

‘Another technology that the  de-extinction  of a Neanderthal would require is human cloning.

‘We can  clone all kinds of mammals, so it’s  very likely that we could clone a  human. Why shouldn’t we be able to do so?”

Prof Church, 58, is a pioneer in synthetic  biology, which aims is to create synthetic DNA and organisms in the  laboratory.

During the 1980s, he helped initiate the  Human Genome Project that created a map of the human genome.

Cloning the caveman: Geneticist Professor George Church
Cloning the caveman: Geneticist Professor George  Church

He admits his project may have shades of  Frankenstein about it, but he believes recreating Neanderthals would benefit  mankind.

Prof Church added: ‘Neanderthals might think  differently than we do. We know that they had a larger cranial size. They could  even be more intelligent than us.

‘When the time comes to deal with an epidemic  or getting off the planet or whatever, it’s conceivable that their way of  thinking could be beneficial.

‘They could maybe even create a new  neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force. The main goal is to  increase diversity. The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity.

‘This is true for culture or evolution, for  species and also for whole societies. If you become a monoculture, you are at  great risk of perishing.

‘Therefore the recreation of Neanderthals  would be mainly a question of societal risk avoidance.’

The geneticist also explains how the process  could theoretically be carried out.

‘The first thing you have to do is to  sequence the Neanderthal genome, and that has actually been done.

‘The next step would be to chop this genome  up into, say, 10,000 chunks and then synthesize these. Finally, you would  introduce these chunks into a human stem cell.

Big ideas: Contrary to belief, Neanderthals had a larger brain size and may have been more intelligent than humans
Big ideas: Contrary to belief, Neanderthals had a larger  brain size and may have been more intelligent than humans

‘If we do that often enough, then we would  generate a stem cell line that would get closer and closer to the corresponding  sequence of the Neanderthal.

‘We developed the semi-automated procedure  required to do that in my lab.

‘Finally, we assemble all the chunks in a  human stem cell, which would enable you to finally create a Neanderthal  clone.’

Bringing the past alive: A scene from the film Jurassic Park, which suggested dinosaurs could be recreated through DNA trapped in amber
Bringing the past alive: A scene from the film Jurassic  Park, which suggested dinosaurs could be recreated through DNA trapped in  amber

The missing puzzle in his plan is a surrogate  mother for the project, who would be a human female.

According to experts, Prof Church’s plan is  technically possible.

Many of his suggestions formed the central  plot-line of the 1993 Steven Spielberg film Jurassic Park, in which dinosaur DNA  that had been embedded in chunks of amber was extracted to recreate the monsters  that once dominated Earth.

Neanderthals are named after the site in the  Neander Valley, Germany, where archaeologists first discovered the species in  1856 – three years before Charles Darwin published his On The Origin Of  Species.

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