Harvard professor denies looking for a woman to give birth to baby Neanderthal
When news broke that Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School, one of the world's leading geneticists, was planning to bring Neanderthals back to life by reconstructing their DNA and using a surrogate human mother to give birth to the baby, it was met with criticism and condemnation from top scientists, bioethicists and the Christian Medical Fellowship.
But Professor Church has now debunked the reports, calling them "entirely untrue" and suggesting that the confusion comes from a poor translation of something he told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, the Independent reported.
Speaking to the Boston Herald, Professor Church said: "The real story here is how these stories have percolated and changed in different ways... I'm sure we'll get it sorted out eventually."
Professor Church told the publication that his phone was ringing off the hook, with reporters wanting to speak to him about what they believed were his plans to create hybrid animals like HG Wells' fictional character Dr Moreau.
But the reporters were not in luck, as Professor Church told them that he has absolutely no intention to bring our long-extinct relatives back to life.
According to the Boston Herald, Professor Church blames the inaccurate reports on a mistake in an article written off from an interview with him in the Der Spiegel.
He reportedly believes poor translation skills may be part of the problem that led to his view that the science of bringing Neanderthals back to life may one day be possible, being reported as him actively looking to do so.