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Scientists in the U.S. claim to have sequenced the DNA of Bigfoot - and found he is a relative of the human race.
The creature is a crossbreed of human and an unknown primate, the researchers claim - the result of crossbreeding with human females 15,000 years ago.
The Texan science team has called for Bigfoot to have human rights.
The team, led by Dr Melba S Ketchum claims to have sequenced three nuclear genomes from 'sasquatch' and found that the 'species' split off from humans 15,000 years ago.
But the claim is controversial. Ketchum's study has been submitted for peer review, rather than reviewed by other scientists - so at this stage, it's not considered a scientific discovery.
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Most scientists are waiting on the 'peer review' process before commenting on the 'discovery'.
Others are more openly sceptical. Yale neurologist Dr. Steven Novella says the samples may be contaminated samples of normal, human DNA.
“The bottom line is this,” he writes on his blog. “Human DNA plus some anomalies or unknowns does not equal an impossible human-ape hybrid. It equals human DNA plus some anomalies.”
“Our study has sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes and utilized next generation sequencing to obtain 3 whole nuclear genomes from purported Sasquatch samples," says Ketchum.
"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 'hominins' which mated to produce Bigfoot are not Neanderthals or any other known pre-human 'hominin'.
“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,” explains Ketchum.
“Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected. While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin, and non-ape sequences. We describe it as a mosaic of human and novel non-human sequence. Further study is needed and is ongoing to better characterize and understand Sasquatch nuclear DNA.”
The news release says, "Ketchum is a veterinarian whose professional experience includes 27 years of research in genetics, including forensics. Early in her career she also practiced veterinary medicine, and she has previously been published as a participant in mapping the equine genome. She began testing the DNA of purported Sasquatch hair samples 5 years ago."
Ketchum says: “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.”