Geneticist George Church is signed on a major breakthrough in the synthetic biology field and responsible for some successful start ups in that area. He was also involved in mapping the human genome and in the writing of a book that discusses the possibility of turning the whole of human kind invulnerable against all existing viruses.
In a recent interview for ‘Der Shpigel’, Church also discussed the possibility of cloning humans and even neanderthals, which may be extinct but their genome survived with the help of fossils, in a way that mapping it was possible. According to Church, there is no technological limitation to clone a neanderthal, and the only limit is social – Does cloning humans is even ethical?
In his book, Church writes that in order to clone the neanderthal – it will take a very adventurous woman that will be a surrogate for the neanderthal fetus they will create in their labs.
Church was asked in the interview – for what purpose will cloning an extinct human be beneficial for the human kind, which he replied that there might be a few of advantages. “The neanderthal think different than us”, said George Church, “We know they had bigger brains. may be they were far more intelligent than us?” When it is time to face a world wide plague or leave the planet in case of a global disaster – you can presume that the way they think can have a relative advantage.”
This may sound like science fiction, but Church claims that when given the right social conventions to support it, humans may adopt just part of the neanderthal’s genome and insert it into the next generations. Higher intelligence or other kind of features that this extinct race had. Another one of Church’s speculation is forming of a neo-neanderthal population that will become a political power.