Breeding Neanderthals in the planning

It sounds freaky, but Harvard Professor and leading geneticist George Church thinks it’s possible: with old DNA he wants to clone a caveman from more than 30.000 years ago.

It’s not just a weird idea of some random scientist. George Church is known for his expertise in synthetic biology. He for instance helped initiate the Human Genome Project, mapping the human genome. His ideas about cloning Neanderthals were posed in an interview with the prestigious German news magazine Der Spiegel.

“Why would we want to clone a Neanderthal?”, Spiegel asks. ”To create diversity’, Church answers. “Neanderthals had larger brains”, he explains. “So they could be more intelligent than us. When we create a cohort of them, so they can identify with eachother, they could help find solutions to things like epidemics, because they think differently.”

And when would this all be possible? Probably within Churches own lifetime, he expects. “We can already clone all kinds of mammals.”, he says. “But first cloning humans has got to be acceptable to society. And we need to find an extremely adventurous female human.”

Photo: cc

Source:Spiegel, Headlines

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