A Harvard professor wants to clone a Neanderthal in a bid to increase genetic diversity, a bulwark against a biological "monoculture," reports LiveScience
. In fact the professor in question, Dr. George Church, even took an ad out for "extremely adventurous female human" to serve as a surrogate mother for our closely related hominid.
"We can clone all kinds of mammals, so it's very likely that we could clone a human," said Church to German newspaper Der Spiegel
. "Why shouldn't we be able to do so?"
But some of Church's peers in the scientific community are a little less enthusiastic about the prospect of attempting to bring the distant past into the present. They're concerned not only about the health impact on the surrogate mother - or mothers
, as the cloning process would likely "require dozens of women" - but the physical well-being of the hypothetical Neanderthal infant.
"Setting aside the ethical issues behind creating the lone survivor of an extinct human species, doomed to be a freak under the microscope of celebrity...clones often experience a host of health problems, said Alex Knapp of Forbes