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hiflier

The Genetic Markers Of A Sasquatch

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hiflier
Posted (edited)

This thread is directed at any biologists or someone with a strong background in genetics. Can one or more genetic markers in a genome be predicted? Since nearly all primate genomes are now in the GenBank's worldwide collection of DNA sequences then the markers that distinguish one species of primate from another are known and available to researchers. That being the case could one use the data to determine the markers one might expect to find that would separate a Bigfoot from a Human. An example might be a relaxed opsin gene in a primate's DNA sequence that could indicate a tapitum lucidum for night vision. Or perhaps a gen sequence that indicated an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex. Maybe one that one would expect to find in a primate that has full body hair. Can these types of genes be looked for and isolated for verification? If such genetic markers were found to be activated in the Human genome what would it indicate

 

If the genetic markers one would expect to find in a Bigfoot could be predicted or predetermined then how far would such a theory go when looking at an alleged Bigfoot sample? Can specific genes be targeted in order to see if and when they were switched on and for how long? One would think that if a genetic marker could be predicted to be present then would the search of a suspected sample's genome be able to zero in on such indicators such as size, skeletal development, diet, whether there are canines or not, and other such isolated characteristics? Of course this would be aimed at suspected North American Bigfoot samples only since the closest markers would be Human ones. Alleged BF samples supposedly contaminated by Humans and tossed would be the focus. And of those Human "contaminated" samples, are they contaminated because they ONLY showed Human? Looking at this idea as a different approach to what might be expected as a genetic marker that would separate a Bigfoot from a Human.

 

I would think there would be perhaps one or two sequences in the Great Apes that a Sasquatch might have which could be mixed into the Human genome that would result in producing certain characteristics that a Bigfoot has that is different than us. Some consistent .01% outlier in the Human genome? Could something like that be determined or hypothesized ahead of time that would result in physical differences between Humans and Bigfoot?    

Edited by hiflier
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MIB

My best semi-educated guess is "no".    Remember that there are at least 2 pieces, DNA and RNA.   Think of one as the code, one as the code reader.   With a different reader, the same code might manifest quite differently.    It seems like, from what I've been reading, genetic code -> physical characteristics is much less deterministic than what we believed we would find.   You might say we can interpolate but not extrapolate, in other words.   Unfortunately, without a type specimen, we're limited.   We can probably tell that we're looking at something novel only because it does not have a match in GenBank, but so far as looking at a piece of DNA and predicting .. without knowing the species already .. what color hair or how long, size, weight, eye color, etc ... is a bit beyond the science.   More than that, some good scientists say it will stay beyond us because ... basically like algebra, we're looking for a unique solution but we have 2 variables and only 1 equation.    

 

In other words, I believe us amateurs are looking for certainty where the data / science does not support that certainty.  

 

MIB

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9-dot
Posted (edited)

In our human genotype comprised of 22 chromosomes plus X and Y we have something like 3 billion base pairs.  Research has made for mapping of markers (areas of our DNA in which the location and function of the genetic code is known), but unless 30 years of research has passed me by (a definite possibility) we have identified a small percent of the potential markers in our genotype.  Forensic DNA testing is commonly only done for 10's of markers.  I think forward modelling of Sasquatch DNA would be fruitless - I actually think that nearly all forward modelling in science is misplaced, but then I am a plodding deductive scientist - I gather data, erect hypotheses to account for that data (all the data), gather additional data to reject some of the hypotheses, and hopefully ultimately arrive at a good hypothesis (one that adequately accounts for the data without cutting myself with Occam's Razor). 

To this end I think that we are missing great chances for Sasquatch DNA study.
I have lost count of the number of DNA studies performed on alleged Sasquatch DNA - approaching 100, mostly on hair samples, but also a few on blood, saliva, and purported flesh.  Study of the mitochondrial DNA from hair samples has returned results ranging through opossum, bear, deer, raccoon, and Homo sapiens.  The numerous mitochondrial studies that have concluded as coming from Homo sapiens have been judged by many to have been due to human contamination.  But in at least a few of these studies markers found in all humans (that is ALL HUMANS) are missing from the supposed "human" contamination.  This is an issue not adequately explained by any Sasquatch DNA skeptic, here or anywhere.  And that is without bringing nuclear DNA into the discussion.

It has become a fairly easy thing to unzip human DNA strands and match those strands to unzipped strands from Bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, various species of monkeys - even fishing worms, if one is inclined to do that.  What we find:  we share genetic code with Bonobos and chimpanzees at around 97.6% (I keep reading 99.1% on sites like Wikipedia, but I have been unable to find the research supporting that), gorillas 96%, gibbons 94.7%, rhesus monkeys 91.1%, capuchin monkeys 84.2%, prosimian galago 58%.

From these types of studies we can hypothesize regarding the proximity and approximate ages of departure for evolution regarding these close relatives to humans.  Then there is the issue of Homo sapiens living contemporaneously with Denisovans and Neanderthals and with Homo sapiens displaying much Denisovan and Neanderthal DNA.  By the definition of species to which I have always attached myself (and I always will for it is the only objective testable definition), Denosovans and Neanderthals are human species (or human subspecies) else how could their DNA be passed from generation to generation (through hundreds of generations) if not by producing viable offspring in each generation?

So - what would I suggest?  Simply this::  Unzip purported Sasquatch DNA strands and combine with unzipped human DNA strands.  Perform that test for a few examples, for 10's of examples, for hundred's of examples of purported Sasquatch DNA (I realize that the prevailing opinion on this site is that Sasquatch DNA is rare or non-existent - my retort au contraire).  Such study would  likely tell us how closely humans and Sasquatch are related and the approximate age where evolutionary divergence occurred.  Such study might even suggest genetic markers that define morphological differences - per Hiflier's quest.

Edited by 9-dot
correct grammar - correct trillion to billion

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hiflier
Posted (edited)

MIB, you actually came out with an answer that was along the lines of what I've been mulling over but figured I would stick my neck out anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say. 'Preciate your input.

 

Ya know, 9dot, when I clicked on this thread to see the responses I honestly thought I was going to be completely shot down in flames.  You're suggestion as follows:

 

59 minutes ago, 9-dot said:

So - what would I suggest?  Simply this::  Unzip purported Sasquatch DNA strands and combine with unzipped human DNA strands.  Perform that test for a few examples, for 10's of examples, for hundred's of examples of purported Sasquatch DNA (I realize that the prevailing opinion on this site is that Sasquatch DNA is rare or non-existent - my retort au contraire).  Such study would  likely tell us how closely humans and Sasquatch are related and the approximate age where evolutionary divergence occurred.  Such study might even suggest genetic markers that define morphological differences - per Hiflier's quest.

 

...is pretty specific and apparently sounds quite doable. It begs the question though that if unzipping a DNA helix to compare it to a zipped helix, which sounds common for species comparison, is it possible that someone has thought to do just that already? Maybe someone like primate geneticist expert, Dr. Disotell? Do you think it HAS been done recently or perhaps in the Ketchum SGP study? Would the sequences gained in an e-DNA sample be too short for this kind of comparison? Is a certain amount of degradation okay for general species identification but not good enough to where definitive matching or discovery of differences is possible? In other words, with the claimed degradation of the soil samples from the Olympic Project's "nesting" site would it be possible to definitively say Human but not definitive enough to say novel primate?

 

I guess it would make sense if that was the case. I would really prefer to know more about the results of all five samples as I would think any degradation wouldn't show as being almost identical across the samples although being exposed to moisture for say six months and being frozen for a year and a half would have some effect. Which leads to the next question. Would you have any estimates on how long DNA in soil would still be viable for reasonably good testing? Two months? Six? A year? I realize that soil type plays a part in the rate of degradation but the OP samples weren't exactly laying on the surface but were in soil under a foot or more of sticks and twigs while under a thick tree canopy with possibly good drainage in situ. Just a guess there but curiosity has been the bain of my existence since I could crawl and.....uh.....it's only gotten worse over the last six decades LOL.

 

And, BTW, thank you for responding to this....."quest".  

Edited by hiflier

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hiflier
15 hours ago, 9-dot said:

The subject does interest me, however, and I look forward to more communication with you.

 

Thank you 9dot. Same goes for me. You may not be a geneticist but your explanations are clear which is a valuable thong to a an initiate like my self. We have taught ourselves quit a bit here and your clarifications are most welcome.

 

15 hours ago, 9-dot said:

According to at least two hair experts, Sasquatch hair commonly lacks a medulla, and, when present, the Sasquatch medulla is discontinuous and not prominent.

 

My understanding of the medulla aspects of a purported Sasquatch hair sample is that it lacks the medulla. Human hair has an anomalous medulla that sometimes presents as a discontinuous strand inside the inner cortex. Also, and probably the most important? Is the uncut end which seems to be what a lot of folks hang their hat on as well. But if a Human has long hair, say more than 12 inches long as an example, then there WILL BE uncut strands that have grown out and so are of a length of 2 to possibly 6 inches and so will also exhibit an uncut end from new hair growth at the follicle? Jut trying to firm up the possibilities of whether or not a suspected Sasquatch hair isn't a mistake ;) I have appreciated your responses and never a need to apologize for time off LOL. I would say more but for some reason I also find myself crunched for time

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