Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Prof denies Neanderthal baby report

Harvard Medical School genetics professor George Church says he is not looking for a woman to bear a Neanderthal baby (AP)
Harvard Medical School genetics professor George Church says he is not looking for a woman to bear a Neanderthal baby (AP)

A prominent genetics expert from Harvard Medical School has insisted he is not looking for a woman to bear a Neanderthal baby. Not even an adventurous one.

Some press reports in the past few days suggested Professor George Church was supporting the idea of creating a Neanderthal and even looking for an "adventurous" woman for the project.

Prof Church said those reports were based on misunderstandings of an interview he gave the German magazine Der Spiegel.

He said the idea gets a brief mention as a theoretical possibility in his recent book.

Scientists have recovered DNA from Neanderthal fossils.

Making a Neanderthal baby would start with putting that DNA into human stem cells.

Prof Church said such a process would face ethical questions.

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