The science community is all abuzz over the prospect of cloning a neanderthal.
Harvard professor George Church says that the first step of decoding the neanderthal genome is already done, and it may be possible to clone a neanderthal baby in the near future!
"If society becomes comfortable with cloning and sees value in true human diversity, then the whole Neanderthal creature itself could be cloned by a surrogate mother chimp — or by an extremely adventurous female human."
Adventurous is right! People don't usually donate their bodies to science while they're still alive!
Some scientists reject the idea of using a human woman- not whether we could do it, but whether we should!
Alex Knapp says cloning is still too hit-and-miss for humans. He says:
"The reality is that success would require dozens of women — many of whom would almost certainly go through the trauma of miscarriage and stillbirths that appear to be inevitable when it comes to cloning.
The ethical implications of just this simple aspect of the process are pretty damning."
Well, if we learned anything from ABC's short-lived sitcom Cavemen, maybe we aren't ready to bring back neanderthals quite yet after all.
[Image via Ryan Somma/Wikimedia Commons.]