A scientist at Harvard Medical school announced a quest last week to find a woman, who might be willing to serve as a surrogate for an extinct race. There would be slim pickings, some suggested, but that was not the case.
George Church has studied the DNA of neanderthals for some time. He imagined that one day, he would be able to use that DNA to recreate the race. But he was faced with a dilemma. In order to recreate a neanderthal, Church would need an "adventurous" woman to volunteer.
"I have already managed to attract enough DNA from fossil bones to reconstruct the DNA of the human species largely extinct," Church said in an interview with the German magazine, Der Spiegel. "Now I need an adventurous female human."
Scientists believe that the Neanderthals have been extinct for over 33,000 years, but Church doesn't appear to see that as a setback.
"It depends on a lot of things, but I think it can be done. The reason I would consider it a possibility is that a bunch of technologies are developing faster than ever before," Church told the magazine. "In particular, reading and writing DNA is now about a million times faster than seven or eight years ago."
Church's plan however, could be controversial and would require the act of human cloning.
"We can clone all kinds of mammals, so it's very likely that we could clone a human. Why shouldn't we be able to do so?" he posed.
Some scientists have raised concern over whether or not a neanderthal could survive modern diseases while others raise an ethical dilemma.
"'It is hard to know where to begin with the ethical and safety concerns," Philippa Taylor of the Christian Medical Fellowship told the Daily Mail.
Moreover, where would Church even begin to look for a woman that would be willing to give birth to a neanderthal child? Apparently, he won't have to look far. Just after the article was published, a number of young, female women offered to volunteer themselves for the job.
"Where can I volunteer? What are the requirements?" more than a dozen women asked on the Mail Online blog. Most provided their age, race, the reason why they would be qualified, and of course, their contact information.