One scientist speculates that cloning a live Neanderthal might someday be feasible.
CREDIT: Mauro Cutrona

Help Wanted: Surrogate Mother for Neanderthal Baby

Marc Lallanilla, Life’s Little Mysteries Assistant Editor
Date: 21 January 2013 Time: 10:49 AM ET

This may go down as one of the oddest job postings in history: A respected Harvard professor of genetics has proposed finding an “extremely adventurous female human” to serve as surrogate mother for a cloned Neanderthal baby.

Besides saying that the cloning of a live Neanderthal baby would be possible in our lifetime, Dr. George Church told Der Spiegel magazine that using stem cells to create a Neanderthal could have significant benefits to society. “The first thing you have to do is to sequence the Neanderthal genome, and that has actually been done,” Church said.

Scientists completed the first sequence of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, finding genetic evidence suggesting ancestors of modern humans successfully interbred with Neanderthals, at least occasionally. More recent research has suggested Neanderthal DNA makes up 1 percent to 4 percent of the genomes of modern Eurasians.

“The next step would be to chop this genome up into, say, 10,000 chunks and then … assemble all the chunks in a human stem cell, which would enable you to finally create a Neanderthal clone,” Church told Der Spiegel.

Read more: Surrogate Mother for Neanderthal Baby | Cloned Neanderthal | LiveScience.

Home           Top of page