Sasquatch Genetics! Or…Not.
You might have seen some news coverage of a Sasquatch genome paper recently:
“A team of eleven scientists with expertise in genetics, forensics, pathology, biochemistry, and biophysics has sequenced three whole nuclear genomes from a novel, contemporary species of hominin in North America. The study, “Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies,” which analyzed DNA from a total of 111 high-quality samples submitted from across the continent, appears in the inaugural issue of Denovo: Journal of Science.”
The Breaking Bio crew talked with David Winter (@TheAtavism), who took one for the science team by looking at the genetic data in great detail. Spoiler alert: still not real.
If you have $30 to burn and you can’t find a lighter, you can purchase the Sasquatch paper yourself. But trust us, it’s not worth it. We also discuss just how terrifying it is that the lead scientist on this study works professionally in forensics. As in, she is involved with important legal stuff.
Some background on our technical jargon: In order to be an “official” species, organisms have to be registered with ZooBank, an international taxonomic body. You also are supposed to deposit what is known as a type specimen in a museum somewhere, so that biologists have a physical specimen to compare their work to long into the future. Lastly, geneticists doing organismal sequencing are expected to publish their DNA data with GenBank, for similar reasons. It all creates records that allow future scientists to verify and compare new specimens to.
Bonus: looking for a radical new weight loss solution? Well, don’t try bot flies. Seriously.
Morgan and Bug Girl explain why it’s a really stupid idea.