Are you an “extremely adventurous female human”? Do you like hairy babies? Have you seen those Geico caveman commercials?
Then you’re in luck, because Harvard professor and geneticist, George Church, has a hell of a job for you!
But, more specifically, for your womb — where he hopes to implant some good ol’ fashioned Neanderthal DNA.
Or, at least, that’s what Der Spiegel quoted him as saying. Because when the mag cited a portion of Church’s book, Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, in which he stated that, “an ‘extremely adventurous female human’ could serve as the surrogate mother,” he agreed with the statement. Then followed up with, “However, the prerequisite would, of course, be that human cloning is acceptable to society.”
That is a problem, isn’t it?
Church seems confident though, especially when asked whether or not we should expect to see a Neanderthal cloned in his lifetime. “We can clone all kinds of mammals, so it’s very likely that we could clone a human,” he answered. “Why shouldn’t we be able to do so?”
Well, according to places like LiveScience, cloning isn’t all the fun and gumdrops Church makes it out to be. Take Dolly, for example, the first cloned sheep who was one of 29 cloned embryos and the only one to survive. Which means that potential surrogate moms would suffer as well, as it would likely require dozens of women suffering through miscarriages and stillbirths just to get one surviving clone.
However, the benefits of cloning a neanderthal baby, according to Church, are that we’d be given the opportunity to study their intelligence and learn from their behavior. A study that would, Church admitted, require more than one Neanderthal. “You would certainly have to create a cohort, so they would have some sense of identity,” he said. “They could maybe even create a new neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force.”
So, just with a show of hands, how many of you will be lining up for this job?!