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11-28-2012, 02:20 AM
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I was trying to figure out how they made their female contribution vs male contribution determination. As expected, the researchers claim to have sequenced mitochondrial DNA (which can only come from the female/mother):

Ketchum said her team has sequenced three complete Sasquatch nuclear genomes and concluded the species is a human hybrid.

"Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain three whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples," she said in the release. "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."

Genetic testing has already ruled out Homo neanderthalis and the Denisova hominin as contributors to Sasquatch mtDNA or nuDNA, she said.

"The male progenitor that contributed the unknown sequence to this hybrid is unique as its DNA is more distantly removed from humans than other recently discovered hominins like the Denisovan individual," Ketchum said.

It's very easy to propagate 'errors' in samples destined for DNA testing/sequencing because of the techniques used to deliver enough DNA with which to work (amplification through PCR). Researches attempt to isolate DNA from a specific sample, but if random cell becomes part of the mix, the sample is compromised. Amplification takes a single strand and then makes millinos of copies so that enough is available for the study. If you get contaminant DNA into the mix, you're not really looking at what you're thinking you're looking at.

Here's another article that questions the validity of the findings, thus far:

Because Ketchum has released no information at all about her findings (nor have they been examined by outside experts), it's impossible to evaluate the validity of her conclusions. But an important clue can be found in her statement that "Sasquatch mtDNA is identical to modern Homo sapiens."

If the mitochontrial DNA is identical to Homo sapiens (i.e., modern humans), then this suggests one of two options. The first, endorsed by Ketchum, is that Bigfoot ancestors had sex with women about 15,000 years ago and created a half-human hybrid species currently hiding across North America.

There is, however, another, simpler interpretation of such results: The samples were contaminated. Whatever the sample originally was — Bigfoot, bear, human or something else — it's possible that the people who collected and handled the specimens accidentally introduced their DNA into the sample, which can easily occur with something as innocent as a spit, sneeze or cough. No one outside of Ketchum's team knows how this alleged Bigfoot DNA was collected, from where or by whom. It could have been collected by the world's top forensics experts, or by a pair of amateur Bigfoot buffs with no evidence-gathering training.

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