George Church proposes a different approach for cloning extinct animals whose genome has been sequenced. It starts with a healthy cell of a closely related species—cloning a Neanderthal, for example, could start with a stem cell from a modern human. Using new tricks of genetic engineering, researchers could make adjustments to the DNA in the human cell so it matches the code of the Neanderthal.
That's more difficult than it sounds, as there are millions of spots in the genome that are different in modern humans and Neanderthals. Church points to a new technique called CRISPR that makes it possible to edit multiple sites in the genome at once.
Science magazine, report "Multiplex Genome Engineering Using CRISPR/Cas Systems"