Bigfoot genome sequenced? There are skeptics

Feb 19, 2013 by Marcia Malory report
Bigfoot genome sequenced? There are skeptics
Credit: 'Harry and the Hendersons' movie

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers led by Melba Ketchum of DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, New Mexico, claims to have succeeded in sequencing the genome of Bigfoot (Sasquatch). The team published their findings in DeNovo, a journal that Ketchum purchased and renamed because mainstream scientific journals would not accept the study. Scientists have been understandably skeptical.

According to critics, a major problem with the research is that it bypassed the normal peer review process. Ketchum claims that established journals wouldn't publish "Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies" because it is controversial and because the members of her research team are not associated with large universities. Historically, such arguments have been made by those who blame the mainstream scientific community's lack of acceptance on conspiracy, rather than on bad science. Ketchum goes so far as to compare her own experience with that of Galileo.

The science in the paper itself is shaky. People across North America provided researchers, mostly forensic experts, with 111 "Bigfoot " consisting of hair, fur, flesh and blood.

The team sequenced 20 whole mitochondrial genomes, 10 partial mitochondrial genomes, and 3 whole nuclear genomes. In their paper, they conclude that Sasquatch is a hybrid, created by between female Homo sapiens and males of an unidentified hominin species, neither Neanderthal nor Denisovan.

Although the isolated mitochondrial DNA did come from humans, these were mostly from Europe or the Middle East. Only a few were Native American. To explain this discrepancy, the team speculated that during the last ice age, some humans walked over the ice through Greenland, despite that the fact that there is no evidence that this ever happened. A much more likely explanation is the samples were contaminated.

Electron micrographs of nuclear samples do show an intermingling of patches of double and single-stranded DNA, a sign that some contaminant has mixed with modern human DNA. The researchers could have isolated the non-human DNA and attempted to match it with that of another species. However, they do not report doing that.

Ketchum claims that her team did not submit the genetic sequences to GenBank, the open access genetic database, because GenBank only accept sequences from officially recognized species. GenBank has no such restriction, according to Leonid Kruglyak, a geneticist at Princeton University.

Nevertheless, the team has created a new species name for Sasquatch, Homo sapiens cognatus, which they are attempting to register with ZooBank, and Ketchum is already fighting to protect Bigfoot's human and constitutional rights.

Explore further: Elucidating extremophilic 'microbial dark matter'

More information: www.denovojournal.com/

Related Stories

A mammoth task -- sorting out mammoth evolution

May 30, 2011

Mammoths were a diverse genus that roamed across Eurasia and North America during the Pleistocene era. In continental North America, at least two highly divergent species have long been recognized – woolly ...

New ancestor? Scientists ponder DNA from Siberia

Mar 24, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has sequenced ancient mitochondrial DNA from a finger bone found in southern Siberia. ...

Mothers curse linked to male infertility

May 16, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- Researchers have discovered the first real evidence of the 'mother's curse' and its connection to male infertility due to genetic mutations in mitochondria. Led by Dr. Damian Dowling from Monash University ...

Project to examine 'Yeti' DNA

May 23, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A new collaboration between Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology will use the latest genetic techniques to investigate organic remains that some have claimed belong to the ‘Yeti’ ...

Sequencing hundreds of chloroplast genomes now possible

Jan 31, 2013

Researchers at the University of Florida and Oberlin College have developed a sequencing method that will allow potentially hundreds of plant chloroplast genomes to be sequenced at once, facilitating studies of molecular ...

Recommended for you

For legume plants, a new route from shoot to root

19 hours ago

A new study shows that legume plants regulate their symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria by using cytokinins—signaling molecules— that are transmitted through the plant structure from leaves into ...

Controlling the transition between generations

Sep 18, 2014

Rafal Ciosk and his group at the FMI have identified an important regulator of the transition from germ cell to embryonic cell. LIN-41 prevents the premature onset of embryonic transcription in oocytes poised ...

User comments : 27

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Pediopal
2.2 / 5 (14) Feb 19, 2013


"To explain this discrepancy, the team speculated that during the last ice age, some humans walked over the ice through Greenland"
Good Grief! I appears that "the team" has been reading too much of Dennis Stanford's pseudoscientific works. He was having problems getting published (much like Ketchum and for the same reasons) but now he will have a place to go to get his unsubstantiated theories published, right along with the Norwegian Bigfoot.
Apaquin
3.4 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2013
DNA is DNA is it not? Focus more on the DNA please.
minnickdove
5 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2013
Dear Melba Ketchum,

Thank you. I needed this today.

Keep up the great work! (Nessie next?)

Love, April
EdMoore
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2013
Nacogdoches is in Texas.
Tangent2
1.3 / 5 (13) Feb 19, 2013
According to critics, a major problem with the research is that it bypassed the normal peer review process.


Kind of hard to get a peer review going when no scientific journals will accept it for publication to help get publicity, awareness, and yes, even some peer reviews.
PoppaJ
1.3 / 5 (15) Feb 19, 2013
This really muddies the water in the cripto world. Contaminated DNA that has not been independently verified to not match existing known species. Lying about submission requirements and purchasing a paper to get around pier review. This is only going to further discredit something that I tend find credibility in. Now we are back to the drawing bored. Thanks to this nut case we will have to shoot and kill a "Big Foot" to prove it exists. It will be terrible if we shoot one and it turns out big foot is nothing more than a human with a recessive gene that causes this type of mutation. There is a reason we have such a strict process.
Sean_W
1.6 / 5 (13) Feb 19, 2013
A hybrid between human females and non humans would explain why mitochondrial DNA was human. Something else that would explain it? The whole thing was human.

The reason the samples are indicative of European and Middle Eastern people rather than natives might be that the people sending in samples are largely of Eurasian descent. I wonder if that occurred to the researchers.
praos
2 / 5 (16) Feb 19, 2013
Is there possibly any genetic connection between Bigfoot and Bigmouth?
trapezoid
5 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2013
Ketchum claims that established journals wouldn't publish ... because it is controversial and ... not associated with large universities. Historically ... blame ... lack of acceptance on conspiracy... . Ketchum goes so far as to compare her own experience with that of Galileo.


Hey, I found some weird footprints too, and some hairs I can't identify. How much does it cost to buy my own journal?
Caliban
3 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2013
Problems, it would appear, abound. Much skepticism from the very community that would presumably be most anxious to trumpet "Eureka":

http://doubtfulne...ication/

http://www.crypto...hum-213/

What's a poor cryptohominid to do?

Karlsbad
5 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2013
"In their paper, they conclude that Sasquatch is a hybrid, created by interbreeding between female Homo sapiens and males of an unidentified hominin species, neither Neanderthal nor Denisovan."

I'd propose Leprechaun's for who-the-Sasquatch-babies'-daddy-is.
There. Settled.
Q-Star
2.5 / 5 (13) Feb 19, 2013
According to critics, a major problem with the research is that it bypassed the normal peer review process.


And I'm sure the peers regret that.

Ketchum claims that established journals wouldn't publish "Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies" because ,,,,


,,, the editors couldn't stop laughing long enough to call on someone to referee the peers tasked with reviewing the work.

the members of her research team are not associated with large universities


Gee, that is surprising, are ya sure? I wonder why not?

Historically, such arguments have been made by those who blame the mainstream scientific community's lack of acceptance on conspiracy, rather than on bad science.


The Illuminati & their Templar enforcers.

Ketchum goes so far as to compare her own experience with that of Galileo.


"yet it moves",,,, She should be glad, she can sell more books & subscriptions that way.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.7 / 5 (17) Feb 19, 2013
"The science in the paper itself is shaky. People across North America provided researchers, mostly forensic experts, with 111 "Bigfoot DNA samples" consisting of hair, fur, flesh and blood."

-I wonder if these all matched?

"created by interbreeding between female Homo sapiens and males of an unidentified hominin species, neither Neanderthal nor Denisovan."

-Perhaps with some canine, bovine, and rodentine mixed in?
Estevan57
2.7 / 5 (24) Feb 19, 2013
"created by interbreeding between female Homo sapiens and males of an unidentified hominin species, neither Neanderthal nor Denisovan." -Perhaps with some canine, bovine, and rodentine mixed in?

Sounds like your kin don't it Otto? Just saying.
Anda
5 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2013
Ok, let's jump to another article...
trekgeek1
4 / 5 (4) Feb 19, 2013
In their paper, they conclude that Sasquatch is a hybrid, created by interbreeding between female Homo sapiens and males of an unidentified hominin species, neither Neanderthal nor Denisovan.


Stay away from our women, Bigfoot!
dav_daddy
1.9 / 5 (13) Feb 19, 2013
If the other DNA can be matched to the donkey then I have a theory....
rah
1.9 / 5 (9) Feb 20, 2013
It seems that mental illness strikes without regard to ones education.
VendicarE
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 20, 2013
Where's da humans women at?

A little wine, a little song, a little bigfoot in her thong...

And the rest is history....
jimbo92107
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 20, 2013
When will the pseudo-scientific community stop harassing large, hirsute men that like to stroll naked through the woods?
gurloc
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 20, 2013
They keep the data on the same disk as their unicorn and Loch Ness monster genome sequences...
nizzim
2.3 / 5 (9) Feb 20, 2013
if you actually have followed all the history of this case with dr. ketchum where she comes from, her history and what not you would see that shes just a scientist doing her job that came upon something extraordinary. She didnt ask for fame or try to throw any of this in to the mainstream but certain ppl tried to infiltrate and sabotage her study so she had to release info prematurely. Just do some background on her and youll see this isnt some random person looking for fifteen min of fame but a professional who took a leap of faith and is now being drilled for it. ive been keeping up with her and her interviews and she seems very genuine to me. it might be somewhat bias for me because i know someone first hand that has seen a bigfoot in the the wild and i completely believe him. No one believed the panda bear was real for a long time too so im just gonna sit back and wait until hopefully in the next few years they capture a specimen and myth will become fact. Crossing my fingers!
alfie_null
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 20, 2013
Regarding Galileo and history: how about considering through history, how many proponents of some sort of "truth" have compared themselves to Galileo? How many have successfully repudiated their critics?

My suggestion - Galileo as an exemplar is tired, worn out. Find another metaphor. You are not Galileo, and you are probably wrong.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (12) Feb 20, 2013
"created by interbreeding between female Homo sapiens and males of an unidentified hominin species, neither Neanderthal nor Denisovan." -Perhaps with some canine, bovine, and rodentine mixed in?

Sounds like your kin don't it Otto? Just saying.
Naw I would say people like yourself who pay little girls to stalk people, have many rodent parts. Why don't you get scanned? Maybe you can tell just when the bestiality occurred.
xylinda_morpheus
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 20, 2013
I've just started reading the study, would appreciate if anyone here would contact me who actually knows about genetics. Tx, xylmorph@yahoo.com
dav_daddy
1.7 / 5 (12) Feb 22, 2013

A little wine, a little song, a little bigfoot in her thong...


Then some food and a little dance, a whole lot of Sasquatch in her pants.

Well I guess once you go nine foot ape-man you never go back?
Moebius
1.5 / 5 (11) Feb 23, 2013
How do you do a DNA analysis without a DNA sample? There is no credible DNA source to test. Extrapolation is certain to be wrong, DNA of new species is emergent and impossible to predict. Of course the chances are excellent that if it exists we will share a good amount of DNA but the differences or the amount of difference can't be predicted.