Cloning | News

'Adventurous' Surrogate Wanted to Carry Cloned Neanderthal

A Harvard genetics professor says he can clone a neanderthal:

NeanderthalHe just needs an “extremely adventurous female human” to carry the clone baby, George Church writes in his new book, “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves.”

“You have got a shot at anything where you have the DNA,” Church explained to German magazine Der Spiegel. “The limit for finding DNA fragments is probably around a million years.”

It’s only been about 30,000 years since Neanderthals are thought to have died off, and scientists have discovered DNA fragments from the long-lost species in fossils in Europe.

In theory, the DNA could be assembled into an embryo, which could be planted inside a human — a very daring woman, Church said.

Just head to the AFA or FRC. Great DNA pool there.

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  1. Well, there you have among the worst ideas ever. We already have plenty of neanderthals. They're called Republicans.

    Also, there's a reason humans evolved. How exactly would a cloned neanderthal live? In captivity, I assume, much like an animal in a zoo. Gosh, how humane. You wouldn't be adventurous to carry that child; you'd be crazy.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 22, 2013 11:35:51 AM

  2. Didn't Barbara Bush do this already?

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 22, 2013 11:37:27 AM

  3. This sounds like a producer's pitch for a new horror movie. Neanderthal DNA has been around for a while and science has discovered the big brutes did interbreed with us "humans" after all. So there are already quite a few of us walking around with Neanderthal ancestral DNA in our cells. Maybe that explains the anti-gay barbarians out there.

    Posted by: Paul | Jan 22, 2013 11:38:07 AM

  4. All I can think of is one lonely neanderthal living it's life as a monster and test subject. So Sad.

    This isn't daring, it's despicable.

    Posted by: mick | Jan 22, 2013 11:41:26 AM

  5. Not quite true:

    Posted by: Joel | Jan 22, 2013 11:49:43 AM

  6. Should make the Bear Community happy.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 22, 2013 11:51:24 AM

  7. NO!

    The poor creature if brought back would have little freedom as it would end up more a museum / zoo exhibit

    It is enough that Neanderthal genes are already in us/ part of our DNA at around 4%

    @ Paul, neanderthal buried their dead pre us etc so assumptions on their being barbarians are not cool. Plus their is evidence that we ate and interbred them out of existence so the brutishness/ barbarism is less evident in Neanderthal genetic heritage

    Posted by: Moz's | Jan 22, 2013 11:57:32 AM

  8. What MICK said.

    Posted by: AZEZPAT | Jan 22, 2013 12:00:18 PM

  9. PS on my post

    the evidence appears to be that neanderthal wasn't barbaric/ brutish enough to out compete us

    That we were more barbaric/ barbaric enough to ensure their destruction and our ascendance

    Posted by: Moz's | Jan 22, 2013 12:01:09 PM

  10. I admit that a part of me is intrigued that this could be done. That being said, the creature that would be produced would be human. I'm sure his life would be miserable. It would be no different than putting a man or woman in a cage.

    Posted by: Robert | Jan 22, 2013 12:22:08 PM

  11. This could be Octomom's big chance for a comeback!

    Posted by: Jack M | Jan 22, 2013 12:22:54 PM

  12. shades of Rosemary's Baby.

    Posted by: deedrdo | Jan 22, 2013 12:32:23 PM

  13. If it's a male there's some gay guy who's going to say "he'a hot" and, voila, his existence will make sense.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Jan 22, 2013 12:57:58 PM

  14. It would seem that the reappearance of Neanderthals has already occurred as evidenced by Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, and unfortunately far too many others.

    Posted by: StevyD | Jan 22, 2013 12:58:48 PM

  15. I wouldn't compare neanderthals to any of them. For all we know, they were okay with homosexual relationships.

    Posted by: Robert | Jan 22, 2013 1:00:40 PM

  16. I nominate Honey Boo Boo (in a few years).

    Posted by: Dan Mc | Jan 22, 2013 1:04:50 PM

  17. I would be really excited if they could clone dodos and passenger pigeons.

    Posted by: sherman | Jan 22, 2013 1:22:25 PM

  18. Don't confuse "neanderthal" as a statement about humans with a member of that extinct species. There's a logical fallacy called equivocation in which a word is used with two different meanings.


    1. Bears hibernate in the winter.

    2. X is a gay bar frequented by bears.

    Therefore X loses money in the winter because the customers that frequent it don't go out in the winter.

    The problem is that in (1) "bears" refers to a non-human animal but in (2) "bears" refers to "hefty" hairy men, while the argument assumes that both words refer to the same thing.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 22, 2013 2:26:13 PM

  19. why I'm not a woman! why!

    Posted by: Frank | Jan 22, 2013 4:27:33 PM

  20. Why does that neanderthal look so much like Mel Brooks? Am I the only one who sees it?

    Posted by: MateoM | Jan 22, 2013 5:31:14 PM

  21. Why does that neanderthal look so much like Mel Brooks? Am I the only one who sees it?

    Posted by: MateoM | Jan 22, 2013 5:31:15 PM

  22. This sounds like the plot of a bad sci-fi channel movie...

    Posted by: jaragon | Jan 22, 2013 5:41:02 PM

  23. This is the first time I ever wished I was a woman. I would totally do this - as long as it was clear there was money somewhere to handle what ever resulted. Neanderthals are probably responsible for the 4% of us that's worthwhile. My guess is the the narcissistic and psychopath types killed them off (meaning: us).

    Posted by: Markt | Jan 22, 2013 10:28:01 PM

  24. @Joel:
    Thank you for posting the link to the Boston Herald Article. This is the kind of media sensationalism that can trash the reputation of a respected academic, and it's important to stop these stories from being passed on uncritically.

    Posted by: Dan B | Jan 22, 2013 10:56:40 PM

  25. @Joel: thanks for posting the article clarifying this whole mess
    @Dan B: ditto
    @everyone else: Prof. Church was speaking HYPOTHETICALLY. If we were to ever clone a member of the Neanderthal species (I wouldn't want to compare them with non-sapeint Homo sapiens...), a moral / legal framework should already be in place. Ergo, we should start discussing legal / moral implications now. That's very different from saying he's actively looking for a brave woman to give birth to an evolutionary cousing.
    [appologies for English, not a native speaker]

    Posted by: Hector | Jan 23, 2013 1:24:46 AM

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