THREE BIGFOOT GENOMES SEQUENCED
IN 5-YEAR DNA STUDY
Posted February 12, 2013
"New Research Paper Published Friday Shows Homo Sapiens/Unknown Hominin Hybrid Species Extant in North America"
DALLAS, February 10th
A team of scientists will publish their five-year long study of DNA samples from a novel hominin species, commonly known as “Bigfoot” or “Sasquatch,” on Friday February 15th, 2013. The results suggest that the legendary Sasquatch is extant in North America and is a human relative that arose approximately 13,000 years ago as a hybrid cross of modern Homo sapiens with an novel primate species.
The study, Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies, was conducted by a team of experts in genetics, forensics, imaging and pathology. The team, led by Dr. Melba Ketchum of DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, TX, included Dr. Pat Wojtkiecicz, Director of the North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory; Ms. Aliece Watts of Integrated Forensic Laboratories in Euless, TX; Mr. David Spence, Trace Evidence Supervisor at Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences; Dr. Andreas K. Holzenburg, Director of the Microscopy & Imaging Center at Texas A&M University; Dr. Douglas G. Toler of Huguley Pathology Consultants in Fort Worth, TX; Dr. Thomas M. Prychitko of Wayne State University in Michigan; Dr. Fan Zhang of the University of North Texas Health Science Center; and Sarah Bollinger, Ray Shoulders, and Ryan Smith of DNA Diagnostics.
In total, 110 specimens of purported Sasquatch hair, blood, skin, and other tissue types were analyzed for the study. Samples were submitted by individuals and groups at 34 different hominin research sites in 14 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. Ketchum’s team sequenced 20 whole and 10 partial mitochondrial genomes, as well as 3 whole nuclear genomes, from the samples.
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) comes from mitochondria, energy-producing organelles in the cellular cytoplasm, and is passed down on the maternal lineage across generations. Nuclear DNA (nuDNA) is the genetic information contained in the cell nucleus and is the equal combination of DNA from the parents of an individual.
Initially a skeptic, Ketchum implemented strict protocols to ensure the scientific integrity of the study. DNA samples from submitters and scientists working with study specimens were obtained for use as controls. DNA was extracted from samples using forensic procedures to prevent contamination. Forensics experts examined the morphology of the submitted hair samples against known human and animal samples before beginning DNA testing. “We soon discovered that certain hair samples--which we would later identify as purported Sasquatch samples--had unique morphology distinguishing them from typical human and animal samples,” says Ketchum. “Those hair samples that could not be identified as known animal or human were subsequently screened using DNA testing, beginning with sequencing of mitochondrial DNA followed by sequencing nuclear DNA to determine where these individuals fit in the ‘tree of life.'”
After extensive forensic controls to prevent contamination, mtDNA testing of the Sasquatch samples yielded fully modern human profiles. Sixteen haplotypes indicating 100% homology with modern human mtDNA sequences were observed from 20 completed whole and 10 partial mitochondrial genomes. The human mtDNA results are consistent with prior, unrelated mtDNA tests of purported Sasquatch samples from other laboratories.
Next-generation whole genome sequencing with the HiSeq 2000 platform by Illumina was performed at the University of Texas, Southwestern on one tissue sample, a saliva sample and one blood sample to produce 3 whole genomes. In contrast to the mtDNA which was unambiguously modern human, the Sasquatch nuDNA results were a mosaic of novel primate and human sequence.
“While the three Sasquatch nuclear genomes aligned well with one another and showed significant homology to human chromosome 11 which is highly conserved in primates, the Sasquatch genomes were novel and fell well outside of known ancient hominin as well as ape sequences,” explains Ketchum. “Because some of the mtDNA haplogroups found in our Sasquatch samples originated as late as 13,000 years ago, we are hypothesizing that the Sasquatch are human hybrids, the result of males of an unknown hominin species crossing with female Homo sapiens.”
Hominins are members of the taxonomic grouping Hominini, which includes all members of the genus Homo.
“Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies.”
Authors: Ketchum MS, Wojtkiewicz PW, Watts AB, Spence DW, Holzenburg AK, Toler DG, Prychitko TM, Zhang F, Bollinger S, Shoulders R, Smith R
Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology. 11 January 2013.
Specimens yielding DNA were obtained, purportedly from elusive hominins in North America called Sasquatch. Sequencing and genotyping were performed in addition to histopathologic and electron microscopic examination of a large tissue sample
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