This may sound like the plot to a science fiction film but Professor George Church seems pretty serious about his idea. What could possibly go wrong?
John Hall of the Independent UK reports.
Palaeolithic Park? Harvard professor seeks ‘adventurous’ woman to give birth to baby Neanderthal
A Harvard professor is looking for an “adventurous” woman to give birth to a baby Neanderthal.
It may sound like the plot of another Jurassic Park sequel, but the request is actually part of Professor George Church’s real-life plan to bring our long-extinct relative back to life.
Professor Church of Harvard Medical School is one of the world’s leading geneticists and believes his Neanderthal bone-sample analysis is now complete enough to reconstruct their DNA.
Although the 58-year-old is not certain his plan would work, he says he is now ready to put theory into practice.
Speaking to the German magazine Der Spiegel, Professor Church 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 is to create artificial Neanderthal DNA based on the genetic code found in bone samples, then put this DNA into stem cells.
These cells would then be injected into a human embryo in the early stages of life, and would be strong enough to steer the embryo’s development along Neanderthal lines rather than Sapien.
After a few days growing in a laboratory the ‘neo-Neanderthal’ embryo would be implanted into the womb of the surrogate mother.
Professor Church is one of the scientists who helped initiate the Human Genome Project that successfully mapped human DNA, and believes that bringing Neanderthals back to life would have major benefits for mankind.
Rather than the primitive brutes they are often stereotyped as, Professor Church believes Neanderthals were highly intelligent, perhaps even more intelligent than humans.
Palaeolithic Park? Harvard professor seeks 'adventurous' woman to give birth to baby Neanderthal (Independent UK)