Thursday, March 07, 2013

Neanderthals: Back to the Future?

The initial furor over the Neanderthal cloning idea (in which the media displayed the common sense of primordial ooze, given that no project or even proposal ever existed) has died down, but here's a good overview of where we are concerning our knowledge of our ancient cousins and how we might learn more about them.  Scientists are not thinking about re-creating whole Neanderthals (although here they indulge in some interesting speculation - would you let a Neanderthal kid play sports?) but about re-creating individual cells to study the differences in such things as our immune systems.  We'll never lose our fascination with this ancient branch of the family tree, even if the speculative cryptozoologists who think they might have lingered into historical times - or into our time - are all wrong.

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