A Harvard genetics professor is in search of a daring woman willing to bear a Neanderthal, in a seeming sci-fi story that sounds a lot like "Jurassic Park."
George Church told Spiegel Online
, a German newspaper, that he has rebuilt the DNA of a Neanderthal in a process called genetic sequencing. The next step is finding a woman – an "extremely adventurous female human" at that.
"I can create a Neanderthal baby, if I can find a willing woman," George Church told the German newspaper.
In 2005, his group, 454 Life Sciences, began a project with the Max Planck Institute to sequence the genetic code of a 30,000 year old Neanderthal woman. Church says scientists used fossils from all over Europe to put together an embryo for implanting a human surrogate.
Now nearly complete, the sequence gives scientists insight into humankind's nearest relative, helping them understand the biology, according to Fox News.
With that blueprint, it’s very possible to "resurrect" the Neanderthal, which Church has been arguing for years.
"We have lots of Neanderthal parts around the lab," he told Bloomberg last year. "We are creating Neanderthal cells. Let's say someone has a healthy, normal Neanderthal baby. Well, then, everyone will want to have a Neanderthal kid. Were they superstrong or supersmart? Who knows? But there's one way to find out."
The declaration has made many scientists raise their eyebrows, claiming the study isn't ethical or even possible.
"I understand what George is saying. It's interesting. But I don't think it will ever happen," Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the NYU Center for Bioethics, told ABC News
. "It lurches too close to exploitation. It rubs up too closely as starting to turn into bringing somebody into existence just as an object of other people's interest."
Caplan said it's unclear if it would even be possible for humans to breed with Neanderthals. Even if the study was successful, he said he doesn't think a lone Neanderthal would have a good sense of identity without a cohort, and would live under extreme scrutiny, much like fictional Victor Frankenstein's monster. He also said the Neanderthal would likely be too aggressive for society.
Last year, researchers finished sequencing the genome of another extinct human relative, the denisovan – based solely off a piece of fingerbone and two molars.
The United Nations banned human cloning in 2005, but it wasn't binding, according to ABC News. Some states, like California, still allow the practice for research purposes.
It's debatable whether this study, if carried out, would qualify as the same as human cloning.
That hasn't stopped Church for advocating for what he believes will push scientists' understanding of humanity forward.
"The main goal is to increase diversity. The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity," he told Spiegel Online. "This is true for culture or evolution, for species and also for whole societies. If you become a monoculture, you are at great risk of perishing. Therefore the re-creation of Neanderthals would be mainly a question of societal risk avoidance."
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.