Researcher Close To Cloning

Feeling adventurous? A researcher, claiming to be close to being able to clone a Neanderthal, is seeking a human female surrogate. Are you game?

Pregnant mom sleeping

George Church, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, says he has extracted enough DNA from fossils to reconstruct a Neanderthal child. Once cloning technology has matured enough to make such an event possible, Church says that the only thing he’d need would be a human female surrogate.

New Neanderthal?

If such a thing ever happens, you’d have to expect that the baby would be closely monitored and examined by scientists. The term "surrogate" implies that the woman would not have custody of the child, but instead of going to a loving home like in modern surrogate agreements, this baby may live its life in a scientific world.

Bringing back an extinct species is not a novel idea, even though it sounds like out-of-this-world science fiction. In 2009, an extinct species of ibex was cloned and reborn, although the newborn mountain goat died shortly after its birth due to lung defects. This particular species of ibex died out only 12 or 13 years ago -- a far cry from the 33,000 years that have passed since a Neanderthal last walked the earth.

Surrogacy

In modern surrogacy, there are two different options -- a gestational surrogate carries the child and has no biological ties to him or her -- she nourishes, grows and delivers a child that was created from the sperm and an egg from two other people. In the case where a woman carries a child that was created using her own egg, it’s known as a traditional surrogacy.

Would you?

If it ever gets to that point, could you imagine being a surrogate for an extinct species that is closely related to modern humans?

More on surrogacy

Womb for rent: The 4-1-1 on surrogates
Interview with a surrogate
Twins for everyone: Four children, two mothers

Tags: surrogacy


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