Back in November, I talked a bit about a team of scientists that were claiming to have verified using DNA study that Bigfoot does exist. The team promised that they would have a paper outlining their findings published to allow others to look at their work. The paper has finally been published and apparently, it took some significant doing to publish.
A significant doing involves the fact that the team involved in the publishing of the paper had to purchase their own online scientific journal to get the paper published at all. The paper was published on an online journal called De Novo and perhaps unsurprisingly the scientists are trying to charge $30 to anyone wanting to view their research paper. Ars Technica was able to get their hands on a free sample of the paper and turned it over to someone who actually has a background in DNA and genetic research to peruse.
The researchers involved in the project are predominantly forensic experts and collected a number of samples from across North America. However, the expert that Ars has interpreting the results of scientific study says that the results from the genetic testing he sees comes to a different result than what the writers of the paper argue. The scientists who authored the paper believe that the data points to Bigfoot being a recent hybridization between modern humans and an unknown primate species.
Ars' expert says that the mitochondrial DNA in the samples clusters with that of modern humans. He also notes that the DNA sequences come from a variety of different humans, 16 different to be exact. Most of the species were either European or Middle Eastern region with some being African and American Indian. The expert says that given the timing of the interbreeding only Native American sequences should be seen.
The expert also notes that the nuclear genome has concerning results. He says that sometimes the tests performed picked up human DNA and other times the tests did not. He also notes the tests failed entirely at times. He says that the product resulting from the DNA amplification that was performed on samples look like test results that you would expect when the reaction didn't amplify the intended sequence. He also notes that some results show patches of both double and single stranded DNA intermixed, which would be expected if two distantly related species had their DNA mixed. The expert says the results point to modern human DNA intermingled with some sort of contaminant. Bigfoot is apparently not so scientifically identified after all. My eight-year-old daughter will be crushed.
[via Ars Technica]