News

A recent news announced: “‘Adventurous’ Woman Needed as Surrogate for Neanderthal Baby” (http://gawker.com/5977130/could-you-be- 

the-adventurous-woman-scientists-need-to-give-birth-to-the-first-neanderthal-baby-in-30000-years). In other words, Harvard geneticist George Church recently announced that he might soon be able to clone a Neanderthal, and when the moment comes he will definitely need a lady volunteer to bear the offspring (there are some challenges she might face- find out more in the article).

And this news reminded me of 2 others, which might seem unrelated, but who all highlight different aspects of how a human life, birth and death came to be understood in the contemporary world. The first of these is a news from 2011: to meet the expectations of an on-line world, Jacques Mechelany, an entrepreneur, set up several sites that offer “virtual tombs in a cyber-cemetery” (http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2011/09/20/virtual-tombs-offer-customers-chance-to-live-forever-online/). The news reports that by paying either $50 or $120, you can get an on-line tomb, send flowers, prerecorded messages etc.

And last but not least is the announcement of an auction that took place on December 1st 2012, an auction with relics: http://www.lefigaro.fr/culture/encheres/2012/11/30/03016-20121130ARTFIG00462-des-reliques-vendues-aux-encheres-a-alencon.php. Among these there were some human remains too, said to belong to the 12 Apostles, St. Francis of Assisi or St. Teresa, and the expected buyers were the various churches (known to need holly remains for their mission and existence).

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