Wanted: Neanderthal Baby Mama
Would you be the surrogate for a baby if it meant you would go down in the history books as the woman who resurrected the Neanderthal species? Tempting, right? I mean after all who wouldn’t want to be the mother of such a scientific breakthrough? Well, if you’ve got a hospitable womb, a love of science and are willing to be a surrogate for free, you just may get your chance.
Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School thinks he can bring back the Neanderthal. One of the world’s leading geneticists has a plan to reconstruct the Neanderthal’s DNA using genetic code extracted from fossil remains. He would then put that DNA into stem cells. Those stem cells would be injected into human stem cells of an early stage embryo and then the hopes are that the embryo would be genetically predisposed toward the Neanderthal species more than the human species. If all that goes according to plan, he would then implant the embryo into a volunteer surrogate. 10 months later, Professor Church and his volunteer would have resurrected the Neanderthal species. Now, all he needs is a willing and able, “adventurous” volunteer.
I’m all for the advancement of science but asking someone to volunteer to take on such a task is insane. Maybe if he were offering to pay the surrogate who is going to give birth and resurrect the species that has been extinct for over 33,000 years someone would be willing to consider it.
Being pregnant and giving birth is hard work. It’s taxing on your body, your life and mentally. It truly is a labor of love that is what makes 5 months of feeling seasick and constantly vomiting bearable. In the end, the mother can hold her baby in her arms and love it and nurture it. Professor Church is asking a woman to volunteer to give birth to a child who will be nothing more than a science experiment. Professor Church is forgetting about the humanity of humans and Neanderthals.
Personally, I don’t know if I could be a surrogate. It’s a very selfless act and you have to be a big person with a lot of love and perspective to do it. I could probably be a surrogate under extenuating circumstances, perhaps in the case of one of my sisters or if I was the only hope for my best friend to have a child, but to give birth to the unknown for science, I could never do it.
I think the entire premise is fascinating but, honestly, I think Professor Church is going to be hard pressed to find a volunteer for the task. He may want to seriously consider offering payment to the surrogate if he wants his idea to ever have a chance to come to fruition.
Would you consider volunteering to surrogate a new species or resurrect an old one in the name of science?