News FocusPALEOGENETICS

Cloned Neandertals Still in the Realm of Sci-Fi

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Science  07 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5979, pp. 682-683
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5979.682

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Summary

Science-fiction writers have been resurrecting Neandertals in novels for decades, imagining what it would be like to see and communicate (not to mention mate) with another species of human. So since the idea of sequencing the Neandertal genome became more than a glimmer in a paleogeneticist's eye, some have asked, "Could we, should we, would we, bring this extinct human species back to life?" After all, biologists are trying to bring back the woolly mammoth by cloning. But for both technical and ethical reasons, experts say, bringing back a Neandertal is a pipe dream.