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e-DNA Sampling For Sasquatch


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hiflier
Posted (edited)

Sounds good. What's say we see how the cost is going to play out and make sure we get the samples in a way that the lab can use. Like I said, there are still unanswered questions and so the most important thing would be to keep the channel open to the lab and hope they look at this as a serious inquiry. I'm hoping the follow up email that I sent will demonstrate that.

 

It would be handy to bring in the article on soil sampling procedures here, so I will do just that :) 

Edited by hiflier
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hiflier

I have mentioned that NOTCH2NL assays are available for detecting the three target variations A, B and C. This particular product comes as a well plate with 96 wells coated with antibodies for detecting the three different gene copies. And it is specific to Homo Sapiens: https://www.biocompare.com/25138-Assay-Kit/11949560-NOTCH2NL-ELISA-Kit-Human-OKCD01101/?pda=9956|11949560_0_0||1|NOTCH2NLB

 

Cost? Dunno without creating an account. But a lab could get that info and the cost would be zero if it happened to be a university lab. A private lab is probably a facility that we have some control over because of the money situation. A university? Probably not. The main point here is that there are already products in existence that can test both for Great Apes as well as Humans. This very point has been brought out in my email program to various scientists. Mainly to emphasize that the assays used in testing for primates already exist so there would be no need to design any from scratch.

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NorthWind

OK, I went ahead and registered "for science."

 

The cost of that kit is $659.

 

More than I have to play with, for sure.

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hiflier

More than ANYONE has to play with. And since detecting Sasquatch DNA in the wild is so dependent on activity I think we can do better by going the route we've been talking about. Just secure a definite testing facility and get our water/soil samples on the cheap to the best of our ability. In a while I'll try to post a breakdown on cost from one place I've been looking at. My hope is that once a lab is initially set up for testing our samples then the cost of repeating the tests for each sample will be reasonable.

 

Man, would I ever like to find somewhere in academia that would run samples for nothing, or at least next to nothing. If funding is a problem then mayby something can be worked out regarding some kind of privately funded situation. I think that it would still be cheaper even if some kind of funding agreement could be reached? I mean, how do OTHER people do this sort of thing as an extended research effort without ending up in the poor house? Wally Hersom.....where are you? ;) 

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gigantor

We could cancel the contest and use the money for two test kits....  

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JustCurious

Instead of trying to get the sample from a river, wouldn't it be better to get it from a footprint(s) in snow? 

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hiflier
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, gigantor said:

We could cancel the contest and use the money for two test kits....  

 

Part of my goal in this is to keep costs down if possible, and I do think we can accomplish that. This company is the one BlackRockBigfoot mentioned that was referenced on a Bigfoot podcast and I think we should try to get something going with them. I had emailed them and they answered. I emailed a second time and have been waiting for a response. Take a look at their commercial rate breakdown . We SHOULDN'T have to cancel the contest to afford these guys. The caveat is they are primarily about fish. It would take some back and forth dialogue to really nail down what they could do, what it would cost and whether or not they are really the ones to begin any project with. I think they are, but there needs to be a clear approach to things like whether or not they can procure the right assays to use when testing the samples. I'm going to give them a call Wednesday or Thursday once I get back from my camping trip (no BF's).

 

https://genidaqs.com/commercial-rate-list/

 

@JustCurious The technology is fairly new but if BF left the tracks and we KNOW it was a BF then snow prints could be a good candidate. Especially since there would be few if ANY very large barefoot Humans running in snow in remote locations. It would be pretty tough to hoax that one. Certainly a good thing to consider, for now securing a facility that would agree to run the samples according to the right protocols and we definitely need to find out that information.

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hiflier
Posted (edited)

I had posted this article a while back on June 22: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/researchers-detect-land-animals-using-dna-in-nearby-water-bodies-67481 the article mentioned this scientist: https://beta.salford.ac.uk/our-staff/allan-mcdevitt

 

I immediately shot off an email to him regarding the subject of this thread and the idea of looking for NOTCH2NL genes via environmental DNA sampling- specifically where I might apply to detecting Great Ape NOTCH2NL pseudogenes in North American habitats. Well, it took a while to get a response which finally came in on July 16. Bottom line is the approach may have to stay with mtDNA research instead of trying to find more recent whole cell evidence for testing. I'm still waiting for a second email from the person who returned my email from https://genidaqs.com/ before I actually make that phone call. In the mean time here is the email from Dr. Allan Mcdevitt:

 

"This came to mind again after reading some bigfoot tweets, I apologize that it slipped my mind to reply at the time!
 
As things stand, looking for variation within certain genes like these (or identifying pseudogenes) would be very challenging with eDNA due to the very degraded nature of eDNA and amplifying small fragments. The sequencing technology used creates quite a few errors which is what makes looking at intra specific type variation difficult to detect. That is not to say that it won't be possible in the near future as the field is moving in that direction. At the moment, it is still very targeted towards mtDNA and I guess could be following a similar trajectory as the field of ancient DNA.
 
Admittedly I am not an expert in human or functional genetics as I am primarily an ecologist. But from the methodology you are proposing (which is in theory makes sense, don't worry!), the field of eDNA is not at the stage to look for that type of variation as yet in environmental samples.
 
I would also add that a proposed wide ranging mammal (and presumably existing at low densities) would also present a real challenge for eDNA-based  monitoring. Even for smaller carnivores, we're still struggling with sampling in the right way to optimise things.
 
Allan"
 
I sent a nice follow up email.
 
As one can see from what Dr. McDevitt said (especially what I underlined in his parenthesis) my hypothesis is still a good one although it may be ahead of any current technology to deploy. The important thing for me was to keep getting positive response for scientists on its feasibility. I think I have enough not to say it is a good hypothesis :) However, like I said, it does appear that the field of e-DNA s it stands need to catch up some to pull off a viable program for Sasquatch discovery. The person at Genidaqs said it is a less expensive to target a single species as opposed to running a metabarcoding program that would detect all species in a given environment. That said, I still need a dialogue with the lab to nail down just what that means vs. what they can do vs. how expensive targeting primates is. But hey, Rome wasn't built in a day and the most critical thing we have going right now is that we are getting answers from science!! Once a few more get addressed then we'll know the best approach to have and what we can expect and for how much money.
 
IMHO right now? It's all GOOD.
 
 
 
Edited by hiflier
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Twist

Not the answer I was wanting but it is an answer and the reality of what we are facing.   Good work.

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hiflier

Yeah, Twist, I was also looking for a "Yeah, man, that's a great idea and will work with no problems for finding the Sasquatch's DNA." But I remain positive that short of  bullet it is still a strong candidate. Why? Things like Polar Bear DNA identified in snow tracks, targeting wolverines, and so much more like detecting invasive bullfrogs. Dr. McDevitt stated in the email that what was difficult was detecting "intra species" which are closely related species like maybe Humans and Chimps although I'm not too up on that to be certain of any sampling outcomes.

 

So his gist seems to be along the lines of looking for actual genes as being the issue. We all know that small fragments in the environment can produce results for detecting different species across the board. Think of all the animals detected in the OP nest samples. Just on that basis no one can tell me we can't find a primate with reasonably fresh samples. Especially if protocol in the field are followed to the letter as far as eliminating any possibility of Human contamination. Still saving my money for setting up a kit for extracting samples. Also when I revive the dialogue with that lab I will inquire about their preference for using their style of filter packet as they said the type they prefer is better for detecting rare species.

 

I have to stay positive until I get full answers and establish a definite methodology for what we are dealing with. Because if they are out there, as big as people say, then they are dropping large amounts of DNA every time they so much as even breathe, never mind walking around. And they do that every day, 24/7. I would really like to get into a discussion with a lab that would put the person in the lab in my shoes to come up with a  methodology they say they would use if they were doing the research in the field and submitting the samples themselves. It may be tough to nail someone down for that kind of information but I strongly think it's something that we need to know.

 

Again, Meldrum, Disotell, Mayor......where are you? I also have a sense that they could be way ahead of me on this but still say nothing. And I have to admit Sasquatch discovery is still an extremely hot potato.

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airforce47

Interesting discussion Hiflier.  On the bullet point two organizations are intent on killing a specimen.  The NAWAC and the GCBRO.  Both of them have fully experienced hunters with the best equipment and so far they've failed.  I have a suspicion it may be impossible to kill a specimen but you might be able to wound one. 

 

Your DNA facts are correct and will only get better with advances in science.  There is one test which uses bowel material to look for cells from the lining of the intestines.  The specimen must have been deposited within the last 2 hours and probably needs to be frozen for further testing.  It's a test pathologists use and not many labs can run and it's not considered rock solid but would give you indicative evidence of what you seek.  My best,

 

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hiflier

Welcome to the Forum, airforce47,. I appreciate the positive input. And yes, NAWAC for about a dozen years or so and tha GCBRO for who knows how long- with a supposed night-time gut shot of a Bigfoot which supposedly escaped, though wounded, and crawled away in a creek bed. Langsdale, the head of the group, said stomach contents were collected but I never heard what the test results of that evidence were.

 

On the fecal matter front, unless someone witness the dump and moves fast to collect the evidence and store it properly then no one wants to take the chance of throw away money just because something only LOOKS like Sasquatch poop. I mean how do ya know? Again, many thanks for wading in and hope to see you around the joint.

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SWWASAS

Good point on fecal testing being time line sensitive.         Only once have I found what I would bet that was BF fecal material that was fresh enough to test when found.      It was deposited on an abandoned logging road after I had passed going in.   I believe it was produced for me to find when I hiked out.         It looked like very large human in form with bits of fur from eating some sort of animal.      So not human and too large to be cougar.     The problem being that even though it was probably less than an hour old from being deposited,   I was at least 3 hours from being able to freeze it because of the hike out and drive home.    Intestinal bacteria immediately starts working and destroying DNA present.   That was one find in over 10 years of field work.  We have to do better than that to get DNA material to test.    You would also need a means to freeze something in the field to avoid degradation.      Not easy to pull off for the very unlikely chance of finding fresh material.   As a matter of fact, as fussy as BF are about leaving traces of their presence in the form of footprints,  I would not be as all surprised if they did not routinely bury their fecal material.   If they live in groups in camps,    and they have any concept of sanitation,  they might just bury stuff to keep down the smell and advertise their presence.    I do not think most of us,  give BF enough credit for intelligence.    

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MIB
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On 7/20/2020 at 3:26 PM, hiflier said:

Langsdale, the head of the group, said stomach contents were collected but I never heard what the test results of that evidence were.

 

In a way it doesn't matter if they failed.   TIme has passed, science has progressed.   It is likely that if that happened today the probability of eliminating contamination and being able to test on smaller samples are better.     We're all familiar with the saying about "the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same action expecting the results to change", but in this case, progress of science might make that (repeating previously failed efforts) not so insane after all.

 

MIB

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