Wanted: one "adventurous" lady to help resurrect Neanderthals

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      Hey ladies! 

      Feeling "adventurous"? Got a currently unoccupied womb? Want to help with a kind of (totally) creepy medical experiement?

      Well, Harvard Medical School professor George Church would like to talk to you.

      See, the genetics professor wants to see if it's possible to resurrect Neanderthals

      Church, who helped found the Human Genome Project—so he's presumably not the mad supervillain sort—told Der Spiegel that he has "already managed to attract enough DNA from fossil bones to reconstruct the DNA of the human species largely extinct.

      "Now I need an adventurous female human.”

      Is it legal? Not entirely; many countries have laws forbidding human cloning, although it's uncertain as to whether these laws would extend to prehistoric Man.

      The experiment also raises many ethical questions, like, is it wise to try to bioengineer a creature that likely wouldn't be immune to modern disease? And, isn't it kind of wrong to genetically engineer a creature just so you can run weird experiments on it? Would a Neanderthal even be considered a human under the law? 

      Last year, Russian scientists resurrected a 30,000-year-old plant species from tissue from a squirrel burrow in Siberia, which seems far less ethically nebulous—not to mention hardly terrifying at all.

      But, I'm not a scientist, though; my assessment is based solely on my gut reaction, which is "BAD IDEA" coupled with a siren going off.

      What say you? Ethical madness or a brilliant experiment?

      Follow the ethically nebulous Miranda Nelson on Twitter at @charenton_.


      We're now using Facebook for comments.



      Jan 21, 2013 at 4:37pm

      The experiment has been going on for years. See "Conservative Party Caucus".

      It seems to be going well.

      A. MacInnis

      Jan 22, 2013 at 12:53am

      This has all kinda-sorta been the subject of a French survival horror film, called Humains, tho' the female to be used to perpetuate (not "resurrect" or whatever the appropriate verb may be) the Neanderthals is not offered much choice in her participation... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humains