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Yetie9

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SWWASAS
2 hours ago, WSA said:

Just  some responses to offer to some of the comments and questions about sequencing fossil DNA....

 

Any who have an interest in this topic should absolutely get a copy of Svante Paabo's great book, "Neanderthal Man".  It can be tough sledding in places, but the narrative of how DNA was extracted from fossilized remains is exciting and captivating.  The question has been asked about why all ancient DNA hasn't been sequenced at this point. If you read the book, you'll be left with the impression that it is miraculous that ANY ancient DNA has EVER successfully been sequenced. DNA is a fragile thing, even when it is modern, fresh and uncontaminated. What you get when you try sequencing DNA this ancient, if you get anything coherent at all, is only bits and pieces of the genome. These DNA fragments need to be stitched together to form anything remotely useful that allows you to identify it as a distinct species. (A time consuming, tedious and expensive process) Even then, you won't have completely sequenced the genome....just enough to give you something useful.  Only after doing this will you be able to competently compare the genome sequence to modern descendants' DNA and identify which sequences are likely to have come from those ancestors. Without the ancient template to compare it with, the modern genome doesn't screams, "This is Neanderthal"!  Until you have something know to compare it to it is only just one sequence fragment in the modern DNA.  You need a map.

   

This is a good explanation.   I wanted to add that a hair if it has any, has very little genetic material.     What is there has to be amplified.   That is basically making copies of what is there.   Little duplicates of the existing DNA string segments.    A genome of a species is basically like a huge long  jigsaw puzzle that consists of thousands of pieces that you have to fit together to assemble the complete string.     By amplifying the little segments,  instead of one segment that fits,  you might have several and the puzzle and the process goes together much quicker.    But as with a complex jigsaw puzzle there is one and one way it will fit together.     To make the analogy complete,   a puzzle has a picture on it.      You look at the picture to help you assemble it.     If you have the complete human genome as your puzzle picture, that makes the process easier.   But early in the process if you assume because of parts of your puzzle picture are looking like a human you might assume it us just a human and not notice or ignore subtle differences that are showing you it is not human because some of your puzzle pieces are not fitting right.     If your DNA could have been contaminated,   you assume that it was, to explain why some puzzle pieces are not fitting where they should.    But those pieces that are not fitting right could be telling you that it is not modern human DNA and really is something different.    

Edited by SWWASAS

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WSA

The internet disrupted so many of the common ways knowledge was acquired, analyzed and distributed, we all know. Although I think the consensus on BF is one of the more difficult informational  nuts to crack, it will be eventually, thanks largely to the miraculous way the information can be shared.  It is easy to become impatient, but it helps to look how far the topic has been advanced in just the last 20....a blink of the eye in the pre-internet world.  Despite the moans and groans about how there has been no substantial progress since the PGF was published, that really is not true. Just the access to information on this topic alone is light-years from one guy with a film print, trooping around the country with a BF lecture presented to mere dozens (on a good night) of attendees.   Helps to keep that perspective.

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hiflier
BFF Donor

Good points WSA but the internet also gives us accesses to things and people. And it can get a lot of minds working on a problem very quickly. The internet facilitates individuals' forming of a consensus and coordination a plan for action. There are groups all over the web doing such things. But not here even though there is potential for earth-shaking developments to occur. Remember that "random person"? It doesn't have to be that way anymore. What would it take (using what we already have and know) to get a movement aimed at getting an official answer to Sasquatch existence to go viral??   

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