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Scientist Seeks 'Adventurous Human Woman' For Neanderthal Baby 697

Posted by Soulskill
from the try-craigslist dept.
theodp writes "Harvard geneticist George Church recently told Der Spiegel he's close to developing the necessary technology to clone a Neanderthal, at which point all he'd need is an 'adventurous human woman' to be a surrogate mother for the first Neanderthal baby to be born in 30,000 years (article in German, translation to English). Church said, 'We have lots of Neanderthal parts around the lab. 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.'"
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Scientist Seeks 'Adventurous Human Woman' For Neanderthal Baby

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:13AM (#42637021)

    With that sort of gestation time, it's no wonder Neanderthals went extinct.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alphatel (1450715) *

      With that sort of gestation time, it's no wonder Neanderthals went extinct.

      It doesn't take that long to pop out a Nean. Apparently most of us have up to 4% of their genes already, so what's the point of the experiment? Why not have one of those Canadians mate with an Ecuadorian. The results would be so craaaaazy.

      • Re:30000 years? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tqk (413719) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:03AM (#42637259)

        Why not have one of those Canadians mate with an Ecuadorian.

        As a Canadian male, I can honestly say I'd have no problem with that.

        Yes, most of us (excepting most Africans and Chinese) have Neanderthal genes in us. We inter-bred. Apparently, we gained much of our resistance to noxious germs from them. Neanderthals aren't dead. They merged with us Homo Sapiens, and apparently willingly for the most part (as far as can be told).

        I was happy to hear it. The prior theory I heard was that we either/or out-evolved/genocided them. Cool.

        • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @05:07AM (#42637955) Journal

          t of us (excepting most Africans and Chinese) have Neanderthal genes in us.

          I suggest you go back and do more study.

          Of all the human sub-species only the Africans do not have Neanderthal genes.

        • Re: 30000 years? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rational (1990) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @05:58AM (#42638077)
          Interbreeding and genocide aren't mutually exclusive. It probably took centuries, if not millennia, to drive the Neanderthals to extinction.
          • by tqk (413719)

            Interbreeding and genocide aren't mutually exclusive.

            Good point. Sadly.

            It probably took centuries, if not millennia, to drive the Neanderthals to extinction.

            I question the word "drive". They may have been going that way on their own regardless of us.

            I welcome my Neanderthal genes. Hey, maybe they left with the porpoises when the hyperspace bypass came through? :-) fscking Vogons!

        • Re:30000 years? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by sribe (304414) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @10:52AM (#42638937)

          . We inter-bred. Apparently, we gained much of our resistance to noxious germs from them. Neanderthals aren't dead. They merged with us Homo Sapiens, and apparently willingly for the most part (as far as can be told).

          There's proof now that we interbred. However, there's also solid evidence that we ate them. So we fucked them and ate them, depending on our mood. Just like sheep, cows, etc.

          • by tqk (413719)

            However, there's also solid evidence that we ate them. So we fucked them and ate them, ...

            And that distresses you?!? Go read about the Aztecs. We humans excel in debauchery as a species.

            • by sribe (304414)

              However, there's also solid evidence that we ate them. So we fucked them and ate them, ...

              And that distresses you?!? Go read about the Aztecs. We humans excel in debauchery as a species.

              Huh? How do infer distress from my post? Actually, I find it funny!

      • by Gerzel (240421)

        Actually adding more genes to our collective genepool probably would be a very healthy thing for our species. If we can extract ancient dna sources we might be able to make ourselves a bit more robust and the research might lead to helping make other species more robust genetically as well.

        • by TheLink (130905)

          Perhaps but that DNA may end up in the mother too, how many adventurous human women are that adventurous? :
          http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22312-sons-dna-found-inside-mothers-brain.html [newscientist.com]

          Fetal DNA can enter a mother's brain and remain there for decades, according to autopsies of female brains.

          To investigate this, Nelson and her colleagues autopsied 59 brains of deceased women â" 33 of whom had Alzheimer's disease. They amplified the DNA that they found, creating many more copies, and looked for the presence of a male Y chromosome.

          They found it in 63 per cent of the brains. This male DNA showed up in many different brain regions and some of it had been there for a very long time: one brain that contained the male DNA was from a 94-year-old woman.

          Many mental traits are genetic, so it might be a very mind altering experience ;).

      • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @04:51AM (#42637923) Journal

        In language, Neanderthal means someone stupid, slow and rather ugly. If I called you a Neanderthal it would be an insult... but what were they really like? And from that, what is homo sapiens (us) really like?

        Our self image is rather that we are the smartest animal and the best hunter, the strongest, the brightest, the best looking. What if we weren't? What if we just were a rather vicious monkey that just fucked faster?

        There are a LOT of theories about how Home Sapiens came to be and how the Neanderthal came not to be.

        Some "facts" (It is a fast moving field and there is a lot of stuff that journalists might have made up/mis-quoted):

        • A monkey developed to walk upright in Africa.
        • A small group of these people, was forced out of Africa and passed into the Mediterranean and from there into Europe and the ENTIRE REST of the world.
        • Some claim that all non-africans (not just non-black, Australia natives are pretty dark but still descend from this expelled group (showing neatly how insane racists are)) people share a single mother from this group. Or at least are all far to closely related but it was long ago so that is okay :)
        • When this group spread across the world, they encountered other upright walking monkeys. Neanderthal had already been living in Europe for a LONG time before Homo Sapiens moved in.
        • There was more then one upright walking monkey.
        • There was more then one talking monkey.

        Current theories is that we interbred (DNA evidence) but HOW? Did we freely mingle? Did one or the other keep each other as (sex) slaves. Did we rape each other in conflict?

        A thing to remember is that if Neanderthal is a separate species, how can they interbreed? Breeds within a species can interbreed easily (see dogs) but between species it isn't supposed to be that easy. Of course there are exceptions, zebra/horse tiger/lion.

        When Darwin published his work, the shock was NOT that Genesis wasn't true, they already knew that. The shock was that nature was nasty. Similar, it would be a shock to find out that Neanderthal was the smarter, stronger ape. Lets face it, how many of us want to be vicious Chimpansee who slaughters the Bonobo just for the fun of it? (Not saying the two do that but when we acknowledge a link to the apes, poop flinging is NOT mentioned.

        Shrunken heads originate from a tribe that is often said to be the most nasty humans who ever lived. Did we outnasty the gentle Neanderthal? OR did the already established Neanderthal in Europe take that new tribe as sex slaves and then found that the slaves bred faster and replaced them from within? Or was the Neanderthal really just a dumb brute and we outwitted them? Did we mercilessly slaughter them or keep them around as slaves or did we just happily live together after all and we just merged?

        Ultimately it shouldn't mean anything but people have based entire religions/dogmas on lies with terrible results, maybe it is time for our origin story to be based on truth.

  • Kardashian? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:13AM (#42637025)

    They should ask one of those Kardashian women. They'll do anything for money as long as they can put their name on it.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:18AM (#42637041)

      Plus by the looks of em they'd be genetically similar.

      • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @03:01AM (#42637617)

        Yes, dark hair and brown eyes are the plesiomorphic traits. However, their breasts probably are way too large to be primitive and their noses are too narrow too to be it too. Still, I found those breasts really interesting and to be sure about their authenticity it would be nice to examine them more in detail. If they turn out to be of the primitive type I can go primitive too; maybe I have more of those plesiomorphic traits than I ever knew.

        • Re:Kardashian? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:35AM (#42638283)

          Why do you think neanderthals had dark hair and brown eyes? Doesn't it seem a little odd that the only place you can find blonde hair, red hair, blue or green eyes and white skin also happens to be the same location that the neanderthals were mostly last seen in?

          • Re:Kardashian? (Score:5, Informative)

            by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @08:42AM (#42638455)

            Intrepid imaginaut (1970940): "Why do you think neanderthals had dark hair and brown eyes? Doesn't it seem a little odd that the only place you can find blonde hair, red hair, blue or green eyes and white skin also happens to be the same location that the neanderthals were mostly last seen in?"

            Because

            "A team at the University of Copenhagen have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today. [...] Originally, we all had brown eyes”, said Professor Eiberg from the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine. “But a genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene in our chromosomes resulted in the creation of a “switch”, which literally “turned off” the ability to produce brown eyes”. The OCA2 gene codes for the so-called P protein, which is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to our hair, eyes and skin. The “switch”, which is located in the gene adjacent to OCA2 does not, however, turn off the gene entirely, but rather limits its action to reducing the production of melanin in the iris – effectively “diluting” brown eyes to blue."

            From http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080130170343.htm [sciencedaily.com]

            "Neanderthal extinction hypotheses are plausible explanations on how Neanderthals became extinct around 30,000 years ago."

            From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neanderthal_extinction_hypotheses [wikipedia.org]

            So, the Neanderthals died out some 20,000 years _before_ there were blue eyes.

            And no, the large dinosaurs like T-Rex weren't around at that time either.

    • by Virtucon (127420)

      They should ask one of those Kardashian women. They'll do anything for money as long as they can put their name on it.

      Only if the Professor is a professional basketball player or a rapper. I can see Kris now trying to hock the rights for the baby pics.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Tablizer (95088)

      "Me Kardashian boy, you flat!" *Kabooonk!*

    • Re:Kardashian? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MichaelSmith (789609) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:59AM (#42637241) Homepage Journal

      Thats really unfair on the baby. How would you like to be related to a Kardashian?

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      Based on the comments I see on the gossip blogs (my weakness for hot pics) it appears the general consensus is that one of the sisters already is a relative of the neanderthal species.

      (Although I think she still scrubs up alright TBH)

    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      They should ask one of those Kardashian women. They'll do anything for money as long as they can put their name on it.

      It's a catch-22. They'd insist on mating with an actual Neanderthal, preferably on video so the tape could be sold. You end up with a chicken and the egg scenario. You'd need a Neanderthal to impregnate a Kardashian woman with a Neanderthal. Then again proposing a reality series called, "Knocked Up By a Caveman" could work.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:13AM (#42637027)

    Were they superstrong or supersmart? Who knows? But there's one way to find out

    Well I don't know about the former, but given they are all dead I'm pretty sure about the latter.

    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:35AM (#42637137)

      "Well I don't know about the former, but given they are all dead I'm pretty sure about the latter."

      Not at all. They were superstrong and supersmart. Unfortunately for them, they were also supergullible.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:41AM (#42637159)

      Yeah, because right now only the smart people are breeding, and idiots don't have any kids.

    • by tqk (413719) <s.keeling@mail.com> on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:10AM (#42637283)

      Were they superstrong or supersmart? Who knows? But there's one way to find out

      Well I don't know about the former, but given they are all dead I'm pretty sure about the latter.

      So, you don't much care for SciFi. Superman's planet's gone. Vulcan's gone. The Asgard are gone. All super smart and powerful, long before your puny ancestors were even capable of wallowing in the mud onto dry land.

      Shallow as a pane of glass, you are.

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:33AM (#42637387) Homepage Journal

      Being intelligent don't ensure your survival. You needed a lot of intelligence to build atomic bombs, and see what could had happened.

      Anyway, intelligence is just part of the equation. Culture is another, an important one. How much different should be a neanderthal intelligence to be distinguished from one of us if grows with our culture? And maybe more important, if with our culture is more or less like us, at least in the way of thinking, will be falling in the same kind of moral problems like growing kids on labs?

      • by jamstar7 (694492)
        If the Neanderthals were more peaceful than the Cro-Magnons, the Cro-Mags woulda made short work of them. After all, we're descended from the Cro-Mags, and I sure as hell don't see much of a peaceful nature in us as a species.
        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @05:59AM (#42638079) Journal

          Dogs are more vicious then humans, but we humans completely dominate dogs. Cats are vicious bastards but the number of incidents of cats killing people are remarkably low (because cats are very good at hiding evidence no doubt).

          Viciousness is NOT a survival trait unlike what a LOT of people believe. Darwin shocked people NOT by telling them they were descended from monkeys but by telling them nature was nasty and so were monkeys. BUT more recent research among monkeys has filmed evidence that for instance a male monkey that beats the old male leader and then goes to town on the females WILL be beaten up by ALL the females and then the old defeated male will be put back in power, with the help of some trusted lieutenants and an understanding he no longer has exclusive access to the females but still access. The defeated vicious monkey is all alone and will die from his wound without a group to protect him.

          What monkey sires more children? The old wise leader who knows not to push his position? His lieutenants who can learn peacefully under a wise leader while fucking their brains out? Or the vicious monkey who had access for just a few days?

          Genghis Khan is often called vicious but was he? His military approach was to kill the elite in a country and then treat the peasants pretty damned nicely. Gosh and who tells us he was a bad guy? Our elite... because they prefer to have their peasants kill each other off while they sit miles behind the front. That is how wars are supposed to be fought, destroy the body so you can strike a deal with the head. While GK killed the head and then was nice to the body.

          French revolution is often said to be brutal. By the English... nobles who damn well knew that if the idea of a benevolent revolution and rule by the people was to spread, their necks would be next on the block.

          Which ape is more successful, the Chimpanzee or the Bonobo (the make love not war ape)? Fact is strive costs a LOT of energy, the more relaxed you are, the more you can survive in hard times. There is a group of Baboons (typically a vicious monkey) that lives peacefully in gigantic groups because their environment is so poor in nutrition, they have to remain peaceful because fighting requires to much energy.

          The thing to remember here is that there have been load of vicious cultures in human history. And they died out. Image if we acted like cats and each time we saw another cat, a half hour staredown was in order. How would we ever make even a small village work? Let alone metropolis with tens of millions of people living statistically in perfect peace with each other.

          We are NOT a vicious monkey, are the industrious ant or the harmonious bee. Sure there are incidents but statistcally speaking all the murders in NY are insignificant compared to the total amount of human interaction going on. Netherlands Amsterdam, 1 mil people, 40 or so murders. A bee-hive, 44k a dozen murders (new queen killing other queens) and that is NOTHING to say of the killing off of elderly or sick bees, euthanisia is legal in Holland but it is not the "lets round up the oldies on Friday" that Fox news told you it was. It is Thursdays.

          It has been proven that sleeping together with a loved one reduces stress, lowers heartbeat (slower is better as you only get so many beats per heart) and prolongs life in humans and chipmunks. Hell, indoor cats can be evil all they want but exceed 20 years in lifespan while their relatives on the street barely reach their teens. Viciousness doesn't pay of long term. oh, sometimes there are hickups but overal, the human race has grown ever more peaceful. And YES, long standing conflicts like the middle east or Afghanistan and Iraq PROOF this. The OLD way we saw all to recently in Ruwanda. It hasn't happened in a long time, not on that scale. Even the holocaust was different, Ruwanda was the people killing people. The germans have at least pretended (even if it is part a lie) that it was a small group that did the actual killing. The rest just stood by

          • by bfandreas (603438) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @07:07AM (#42638213)
            You are quite spot on. Here's my take.
            I've been preaching time and again that cooperation is our biggest competitive advantage.
            Intelligence and opposable thumbs and the ability to sweat and so on only amplify what we can achieve by cooperation.

            That being said we are very vicious when it comes to things other than us. Us does not even encompass the whole human race.

            What I have to say may come over as a bit left leaning eco-nutter drivel. But I can't offer any easy solutions because I see very little alternatives.

            We happily go at war with each other and will a hundred years later not even know why or if it was worth it.
            We will happily participate in genocide.
            We keep animals in nasty conditions so we can have cheap food.
            We happily leave our fellow humans to rot as long as we are fine.
            We are unable to cooperate on a global level and barely functional on a national level.

            I could bore you to tears with the complete list but I lost interest myself.
            the gist is, we still are so primitive we can't deal with each other beyond our immediate circle of about 100 persons. It's been a while since I read it but there was a report that our empathy level goes severely down the less well we know a person. And obviously we can't know too many people well enough. Which means that we are somewhat stuck with brains that don't properly function beyond the scale of a tribal level.

            Thankfully we recognized that in the 18th century and came up with the concept of Human Rights as a crutch to lean on when our empathy doesn't work. We suspected something like this for a lot longer, but the concept was only finalized 200-300 years ago. Quite recently actually.

            So there still is hope for us. But only if we do not give in to our gut feeling. Which propably ironically kept us alive up until now.

            Homo sapiens sapiens and confused about it.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I suggest you read up on Genghis Khan. He didn't just kill elites, but millions of humble civilians as well. And that in an age when 'millions' was a reasonable approximation to the entire population of an average country. Read up on the sack of Beijing, the sack of Urgench, the fall of Samarkand, and other atrocities of his reign.

            As for the French Revolution: it wasn't the English who coined the phrase "la Terreur". It wasn't even aristocratic French (who were already dead or fled by then). It was ordinary

        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          If the Neanderthals were more peaceful than the Cro-Magnons, the Cro-Mags woulda made short work of them. After all, we're descended from the Cro-Mags, and I sure as hell don't see much of a peaceful nature in us as a species.

          A group of Vikings is getting ready to debark for high profile R and R. The bosun tells them "Now men the only thing you have to worry about is that hidden streak of non violence in your national character."

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        And maybe more important, if with our culture is more or less like us, at least in the way of thinking, will be falling in the same kind of moral problems like growing kids on labs?

        Is this an actual sentence? I'm trying to decipher it and yet I find I cannot.

  • No he's not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by santax (1541065) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:15AM (#42637031)
    He's not seeking such a woman, nor is he planning to do so. He is just thinking out loud, what if...
    • "He is just thinking out loud, what if..."

      Well, he might as well think about the artificial womb that would go along with his Frankensteinian project. For something more in the spirit of the mad doctor, he could go digging for zombies to reanimate. Another possibility embedding in the female of any of the larger primate species.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      ...besides, what's the scientific value of such an undertaking?

      If somebody ACTUALLY wanted to study Neanderthals he'd just have to go to a television network. They have loads of them and plenty to spare.
      And since that also tends to be the typical hangout of Sir Richard Attenborough you wouldn't need to bring your own.
      Instant Neanderthal research and documentary.
    • Re:No he's not (Score:5, Interesting)

      by kerrbear (163235) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @03:51AM (#42637767)
      Even if somebody did do this to study a real Neanderthal, I can see a potential problem. We know that cloning results in many failures and deformities before success (Dolly was after many tries I believe). So how could we know if it was a "normal" Neanderthal? It might be born deformed or mentally handicapped simply because of the cloning process. Then our perception of what they were like would be skewed by the process.
  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:16AM (#42637033)

    It would make sense to clone a mammoth first, using an Asian elephant as a surrogate. The last mammoths on Wrangel Island were alive only 2000 years ago, so their DNA should be much more intact. If we can clone the mammoth successfully, then we can do the neanderthal next.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Couldn't we just clone Brigitte Bardot? Our current supply is running out.
      And they are easier ont the tarmac(and the eyes) than a mammoth.
      Also, don't moths eat socks? I don't want woolly elephants sitting in my closet munching on my socks.
  • by xs650 (741277) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:18AM (#42637045)
    Having spent some time in rural Northern Germany, I believe Neanderthals are still alive.
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      We also have pockets of Neanderthals in the south.
      Reports of their extinction are wildly exaggerated.

      Couldn' we just clone something that is ACTUALLY extinct? Just the other day I read the common pubic louse is about to go extinct. Something to do with Brazilian landing strips. I knew they shouldn't have cut down the rain forest.
  • by eksith (2776419) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:22AM (#42637061) Homepage
    Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov [wikipedia.org]. They all resulted in failure (allegedly, some conspiracy theorists insist he was at least partially successful). I don't think that he'll have difficulty finding volunteers, only finding a place with neighbors who aren't keen on pitchforks and torches.
  • by lysdexia (897) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:22AM (#42637063) Homepage
    I found one to have my potentially ugly baby.
  • by Virtucon (127420) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:26AM (#42637085)

    I realize that this guy's intentions are honorable, well maybe not, but this sounds like something that really shouldn't be done along the lines of Jurassic Park. With all of the problems in the world, we have a guy here who is trying to bring back an extinct race of people? Somehow I think that the old Nazi era eugenics movement [wikipedia.org] never stopped. Next thing you know we'll have immigrant Neanderthal workers takin our jobs! Let's just leave the bringing old species alone and keep Neanderthals where they belong! Extinct! I don't want to see a Mammoth roaming about, besides with global warming it would lose its hair and it would be killed within a few short years for the ivory.

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Also, mammoths and neanderthals cloning filling in the gaps with frog DNA are bound to be a bit....off.

      I don't want no big woolly elephants jumping around underneath my window. Also their snatching up Neanderthals using their long tongues could become an issue.
      Neanderthals sitting on lillypads on the other hands would be a great attraction for public parks.
  • by WarSpiteX (98591) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:26AM (#42637087) Homepage

    I don't mean to sound too flippant about this, but isn't this around the time in the movie that a Morgan Freeman type of character says "People were not meant to play at god!"?

    • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:33AM (#42637127)

      I don't mean to sound too flippant about this, but isn't this around the time in the movie that a Morgan Freeman type of character says "People were not meant to play at god!"?

      People play God all the time, just usually with guns, bombs, Wall Street, etc...

    • by bfandreas (603438)
      Well, now that Morgan Freeman explained to me why it is a bad idea I do COMPLETELY understand what's going on.
      But isn't it already too late when he shows up? Are we already doomed? Morgan? Could you please explain?
    • by Baldrson (78598) *
      Yeah, only creatures like Morgan Freeman are meant to play at god.
  • Call Spielberg. I've got a movie idea - though I might be thinking of something I saw on one of the "adult" channels...
  • O.K. Fine. Whatever. I'll go make room in the trailer park for another trailer. Stupid ass scientist making more work... /grumble

  • Unethical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @12:46AM (#42637177)

    I consider myself very scientific, fairly worldly, and pretty open minded.

    But to me this is unethical.

    Ask yourself just some simple preliminary questions such as: If the resulting semi-human is self aware, what rights will it/he/she have? Will it/he/she be a cage animal? Will it be sterilized or allowed to reproduce? And if so, with which other species or semi-species? Is this fair to it/he/she? Will it/he/she be allowed to vote? To own property? Be allowed or required to work? To choose a field of education? To be free of staring, poking prodding?

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      From your final paragraph I thought you must be a lawyer, but then I realised you mentioned ethics above it.

      Ultimately, if they're human enough to demand rights they'll get them, and if ethical people don't do things like this it merely ensures that the only people doing it will be the unethical. It's going to happen before long, and plenty of other experiments which will make breeding Neanderthals look tame. First company to breed cat-girls is going to make a killing in the Japanese market.

      BTW, the Soviets

      • by ShakaUVM (157947)

        >BTW, the Soviets conducted experiments where they tried to breed female volunteers with apes, so I doubt there'll be much trouble with finding volunteers for this one.

        "Volunteers".

    • Of course he's human. Having a human mother guarantees this. You may not be aware of it, but you're thinking like a racist in this instance. Try susbtituting "semi-human" with "black" in your sentence, and it reads like something someone from the 50s would say.
      • by markdavis (642305)

        1) Carrying a baby does not make that person the "mother". There is no reason it must contain modern human DNA at all.

        2) You are way out of bounds calling ANYTHING I said "racist". For one, this has nothing to do with race, we are talking about species and sub-species. "Race" is nothing more than ever so slight regional differences within the species such as eye/skin color, skull shape, etc. All races are the same species and nearly identical in cognitive and physical function. This topic is about a no

        • 1) Carrying a baby does not make that person the "mother". There is no reason it must contain modern human DNA at all.

          Given that neanderthals are extinct, you're clearly wrong. Some modern human DNA from the mother (no quotes necessary) will be present.

          2) You are way out of bounds calling ANYTHING I said "racist". For one, this has nothing to do with race, we are talking about species and sub-species.

          On the contrary. While I do not mean to insult you, the actual argument you make is totally ra

    • Re:Unethical (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mysidia (191772) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @04:37AM (#42637873)

      Ask yourself just some simple preliminary questions such as: If the resulting semi-human is self aware, what rights will it/he/she have?

      Should have the same rights as any person born by a human mother.

      A ramification of this should be... whoever volunteers, better be prepared to parent this child, and deal with certain difficulties which might occur.

      Or else, in case of a surrogacy, whatever person the mother has this child for, better be prepared to parent the child as any other human child.

      And no, a lab does not have a right to own, imprison, or enslave a sentient being.

    • Ask yourself just some simple preliminary questions such as: If the resulting semi-human is self aware, what rights will it/he/she have? Will it/he/she be a cage animal? Will it be sterilized or allowed to reproduce? And if so, with which other species or semi-species? Is this fair to it/he/she? Will it/he/she be allowed to vote? To own property? Be allowed or required to work? To choose a field of education? To be free of staring, poking prodding?

      Seems like the same kind of questions that one can ask abo

  • This will definitely give the bio-ethicists something to chew on.
  • Reprehensible. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032)

    If this actually happens, I hope that the kid beats the living shit out of the asshole who wanted him for a lab animal.

    -jcr

    • Re:Reprehensible. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bfandreas (603438) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:01AM (#42637251)

      If this actually happens, I hope that the kid beats the living shit out of the asshole who wanted him for a lab animal.

      -jcr

      This usually involves burning windmills and crowds who can get their hands on pitchforks and torches.
      But from a scientific point of view it would be a TRIUMPH!
      Does the article say if he also plans to clone a bride for him?

  • by The_Star_Child (2660919) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:00AM (#42637243)
    So we can just skip the artificial insemination and do it the good ol' fashion way...
  • by wherrera (235520) on Sunday January 20, 2013 @01:44AM (#42637405) Journal

    There's been a lot of mutual adaptation of humans to their pathogens the last 10k years that Neandethals would lack. Might mean they'd die easily of common benign infections, of less likely not get them at all.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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