A scientist has said it would be possible to clone a Neanderthal baby from ancient DNA if he could find a woman willing to act as a surrogate.
The process would not be legal in many countries and would involve using DNA extracted from fossils.
George Church, a genetics professor of Harvard School of Medicine, said that the process was possible and that far from being brutal and primitive, Neanderthals were intelligent beings.
They are believed to be one of the ancestors of modern man and became extinct 33,000 years ago. He added that altering the human genome could also provide the answers to curing diseases such as cancer and HIV, and hold the key to living to 120.
He told Der Spiegel, the German magazine: “I have 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.”
The professor claims that he could introduce parts of the Neanderthal genome to human stem cells and clone them to create a foetus that could then be implanted in a woman.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you lend our your womb (if you have one)? Has science gone too far?
I'm all for science and stuff, but that poor baby is going to be experimented on for the rest of its life.
We already do animal testing and would be 10% of where we are today, health-wise, without them.
It's a necessary evil, but most professional organizations (eg. Universities) adhere to strict conditions and animal rights to minimize suffering and discomfort for the subject. If any experimenter wants to cross that line, then they'd have to submit an request to the governing board - usually these requests are rejected unless the benefits are absolutely advantageous. Rogue researchers are rare, they risk loss of accreditation and criminal charges otherwise.
You only hear of the abused test subjects in the news, yet many more are actually treated with better care than if they weren't experimented on, or in the wild.
I say if the proposed tests on this neanderthal baby are within acceptable legislation and have a high probability of benefiting humans/science, go for it.
Would he / she, though? I don't think the neanderthal child would be bothered for more than once every month or so to see what's going on with him. And like Mod said, we test the fuck out of other species, and technically, this isn't a "Human," so why should we extend it the same gratuity we do each other, instead of treating it just as we do other animals in testing? Just a hypothetical question there.
I for one would love to be a living time capsule from 35000 years ago, but that may be obtuse to some people who prefer living the exact same way as the other 7 billion people on the planet. Being conscious of oneself is a gift we have as a race, and if the child were to have it as well, there's no reason to say that the mother is producing nothing more than an experiment.
Then again, the whole 'what makes a human a person' philosophy is another story
EDIT: oh, never mind, read that wrong, LOL
EDIT #2:that contradicts the last line of what you said o3othis isn't a "Human," so why should we extend it the same gratuity we do each other, instead of treating it just as we do other animals in testing
Why would you categorize the neanderthal child with the animals in testing?
Like you said, if the child grows consciousness of his/herself, it's /not/ an experiment (I'm pretty sure you said that) so why not treat it the same as we do each other?
Last edited by Mint; 01-20-2013 at 07:45 PM.
If someone could prove that this would indeed be beneficial, I would be all for this. If I had a womb to use for this, I certainly would. Then again, I feel that things we typically use animals for testing, which are intended for end-use by a human, should also be tested on humans before the final product is released to the general public. If there was enough evidence that creating this neanderthal baby would indeed benefit the rest of humanity in some way, go for it. You've got to break some "eggs" to make an "omelet."