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Neanderthal to be born to surrogate mother?

Posted on Saturday, 19 January, 2013 | Comment icon 93 comments


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
There have been indications that a cloning experiment to create a live Neanderthal may be on the cards.

While the idea of using DNA from frozen mammoth remains to clone a live specimen is nothing new, the concept that we could do something similar to bring back extinct species of human such as Neanderthals may prove quite a shock to most people. Despite the technical and ethical difficulties inherent in such an endeavor, there are signs that some scientists may be considering research leading up to such an achievement and that they may need a surrogate human mother to deliver the child.

Recently Harvard Medical School geneticist George Church was quoted as saying that eventually, an "adventurous female human" would be required to act as a surrogate mother in the birth of the first Neanderthal in 30,000 years. It's a topic that Church has talked about before, in 2009 he hinted at the possibility of cloning a "near-Neanderthal" when the Neanderthal genome was first reported.

"While the idea of reviving Neanderthals may sound farfetched, take for example the work of biologists to clone endangered or extinct non-human animals."

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 Source: Technology Review


  Discuss: View comments (93)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #84 Posted by Myles on 24 January, 2013, 15:44
While I agree with the gist of what you posted... there are other considerations... Bringing back a dinosaur - for example - fills a niche for researching what they were really like... they can be studied, examined, even disected when dead to learn more - they can be kept in a 'zoo' or preserve like in the movies... but a humanoid? can we justify bringing one back to be kept in a cage to be studied? At least a person kept in jail is (theoretically at least) there as a result of their misdeeds... A reborn neanderthal (or earlier species of homo-) would be imprisoned for life for the crime of be... [More]
Comment icon #85 Posted by Taun on 24 January, 2013, 17:17
I agree, but some would argue that it is nearly as bad to bring a dinosaur back to just keep it caged up. I'm not one of them. The dinos wouldn't need to be 'caged'... we could put them all on some island, like... Japan maybe! let them roam free - the Japanese shouldn't mind, after all they've dealt with Godzilla for all those years - a few cute and cuddly T-Rex's and Raptors should be no problem at all!
Comment icon #86 Posted by freetoroam on 24 January, 2013, 17:40
The dinos wouldn't need to be 'caged'... we could put them all on some island, like... Japan maybe! let them roam free - the Japanese shouldn't mind, after all they've dealt with Godzilla for all those years - a few cute and cuddly T-Rex's and Raptors should be no problem at all! Not very fair though on the poor old dino, Japan are riddled with Earthquakes, best they go somewhere where they will not get harmed again, be it by humans or another natural disaster, say maybe........Mars?
Comment icon #87 Posted by Taun on 24 January, 2013, 17:59
Not very fair though on the poor old dino, Japan are riddled with Earthquakes, best they go somewhere where they will not get harmed again, be it by humans or another natural disaster, say maybe........Mars? Wow... think how fast a raptor would be at 38% gravity!!!
Comment icon #88 Posted by Lord Vetinari on 24 January, 2013, 20:42
Not very fair though on the poor old dino, Japan are riddled with Earthquakes, best they go somewhere where they will not get harmed again, be it by humans or another natural disaster, say maybe........Mars? it might help if they were able to breathe, though ...
Comment icon #89 Posted by Myles on 28 January, 2013, 12:34
it might help if they were able to breathe, though ... Good thought. Since the oxygen levels were different for the dino's, wouldn't they need to be kept in a regulated containment?
Comment icon #90 Posted by xxxch00bxxx on 28 January, 2013, 21:29
Where do you draw the line? Bringing back an animal? Bringing back a plant? Helping someone stay alive when they are dieing of natural causes? Helping a beached whale? Just saying that "playing God" already happens. You are a beautiful human being i agree that term has always annoyed me to great lengths. It only leads to a few scenarios: 1: We can do it because we are responsible enough to do it, and your God wants us to do it. 2: God just forgot to nerf our intelligence. 3: How are we able to do it, if only God can, The answer God does not exist. We had dire wolves, giant bears, smilodons, gr... [More]
Comment icon #91 Posted by freetoroam on 28 January, 2013, 22:13
it might help if they were able to breathe, though ... I have wondered about the atmosphere in their days. It was fine for them, but is the reason man was not around then because of the atmosphere and climatic conditions were not suitable for us?
Comment icon #92 Posted by freetoroam on 28 January, 2013, 22:16
with regards to the animals you mentioned it would be best they stayed extinct, mainly for the environment they lived in will now not be able to sustain them at all. Are you phychic? i was just asking this!
Comment icon #93 Posted by Erowin on 1 February, 2013, 7:11
Oh come on, when am I getting my mammoth! I better be paying for a mammal ride in the next few years, if they're so sure they can clone things!


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