A US scientist believes he may be able to create a ‘Neanderthal baby’ using ancient DNA – and an ‘adventurous’ willing woman surrogate.
Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he would be able to recreate the extinct relative of man-kind and is in search for a woman who will carry the unique baby.
Church explains that in order to create this super-human baby, DNA would be extracted from fossils and introduced to human stem cells creating an embryo, which would then be inserted into the womb of the surrogate mother/volunteer.
Church, discussing his latest book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, told German Magazine Der Spiegel “I have already managed to extract enough DNA from fossil bones to reconstruct the DNA of the human species largely extinct. Now I need an adventurous female human.”
Professor Church claims the Neanderthal baby would provide major breakthroughs for human beings, such as curing diseases like cancer and HIV. He also believes that the embryo will hold the key to living until 120.
Whilst scientists say the Professor’s plan is theoretically possible, human reproductive cloning is a criminal offence in most countries and throws up huge moral questions.
Some experts worry that Neanderthals – believed to be a relative of modern man that became extinct around 30,000 years ago - may not have strong enough immune systems to survive modern diseases.
Yet Professor Church is adamant to create the baby and explains his main goal in this reproductive story is to increase diversity within the world.
“When the time comes to deal with an epidemic or getting off the planet or whatever, it's conceivable that their way of thinking could be beneficial.“They could maybe even create a new neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force. The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity,” Church says.