Woman claims to have sequenced Bigfoot's genome
by Jennifer Welsh
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November 26, 2012 -In today's pseudoscience ridiculousness, a female geneticist and her fellow researchers claim to have sequenced the genome of Bigfoot. Yes, Sasquach.
The research isn't published or peer reviewed yet (what a crazy random happenstance) because the earth-shattering news was leaked Friday on Facebook by Russian Igor Burstev.
His post, in which he claims that researcher Melba Ketchum has analyzed more than 109 bigfoot samples, and was able to get the full sequence of 20 mitochondrial genomes (which come from the mother) and three whole nuclear genomes (which comes half from mother and half from father).
In a press release on Nov. 24, Ketchum says: "The genome sequencing shows that Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens, but Sasquatch nuDNA is a novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species. Our data indicate that the North American Sasquatch is a hybrid species, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens."
The cross would have happened 15,000 years ago.
She also helps her work will help people see Bigfoot in a new light. The light of humans: "Genetically, the Sasquatch are a human hybrid with unambiguously modern human maternal ancestry. Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license’ to hunt, trap, or kill them."
Obviously, this hasn't sat well with the scientific community. Steven Novella of NeuroLogica Blog writes:
Let me offer a preliminary alternate hypothesis. The hair samples that contain only human mtDNA are from a human. The samples from which the nuDNA is isolated are also from humans but with some contaminants or some other animal source mixed in. That seems to be a more parsimonious interpretation. I would like to know more about the source of the DNA, but I guess that will have to wait for the full details to be published. The fact that the human DNA is modern human (hence the need for the alleged hybridization to have occurred so recently in the past) is most easily explained as the source simply being modern humans.
He also doubts that a human-mystery primate pairing that the researchers are claiming would have created Bigfoot could have ever resulted in fertile offspring. Much like when male donkeys and female horses mate to create the sterile mule, a hybrid between man and a mystery primate would likely not be fertile, if even possible. It's possible the humans may, at one time, have bred with Neanderthals, but as far as we know we can't breed with other apes, not even our closest cousins the Chimpanzees.
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