Could we clone a Ne­an­derthal?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Q & A -

The Ne­an­derthal genome was se­quenced in 2010. Mean­while, new gene-edit­ing tools have been de­vel­oped and tech­ni­cal bar­ri­ers to ‘de-ex­tinc­tion’ are be­ing over­come. So, tech­ni­cally, yes, we could at­tempt the cloning of a Ne­an­derthal. It would in­volve in­tro­duc­ing Ne­an­derthal DNA into a hu­man stem cell, be­fore find­ing a hu­man sur­ro­gate mother to carry the Ne­an­derthal-es­que em­bryo. How­ever, there’d likely be mis­matches be­tween mother and em­bryo that might make the en­deav­our un­fea­si­ble. And, given that the Ne­an­derthal is our clos­est rel­a­tive, its cloning would likely be reg­u­lated as whole hu­man or re­pro­duc­tive cloning, which in most coun­tries is il­le­gal. AP

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