‘Bigfoot’ samples analyzed in lab

first_imgIn North America, they’re called Bigfoot or Sasquatch. In the Himalayan foothills, they’re known as yeti or abominable snowmen. And Russians call them Almasty. But in the scientific laboratory, these elusive, hairy, humanoid creatures are nothing more than bears, horses, and dogs. That’s the conclusion of a new study—the first peer-reviewed, genetic survey of biological samples claimed to be from the shadowy beasts.“There are very few reputable scientists who have ever been willing to go publicly on record as far as Bigfoot and yeti,” says anthropologist Todd Disotell of New York University in New York City, who was not involved in the new work but has performed unpublished analyses of anomalous primate samples in the past. “This study did it right, reducing contamination and following all the standard protocols.”Supposed evidence for Bigfoot and its ilk comes from observers who spot apelike creatures darting through the woods or who find giant footprints in the mud. Bigfoot believers have various ideas about what the animals are, often revolving around the survival of a prehistoric humanoid. Yet many sightings have later turned out to be hoaxes, and scientific support for the existence of the primates is scant.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In 2012, researchers at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and the Museum of Zoology in Lausanne, Switzerland, put out a call for hair samples thought to be from anomalous primates. They received 57 hairs from Bigfoot enthusiasts and museums around the world, including samples from Washington, Texas, Oregon, Russia, and India—a few as old as 50 years. Some “hairs” immediately turned out not to be hairs at all, but rather plant or glass fibers; others were too worn to study.The researchers, led by Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes, focused on the remaining 37 samples, isolating and cleaning a 2- to 4-centimeter segment of each hair, many of which have been extensively handled by people, contaminating them with foreign DNA. To identify the evolutionary source of each sample, the team determined the sequence of a gene—found inside the mitochondria of cells—that encodes the 12S RNA, which is often used for species identification. Unlike standard DNA, mitochondrial genes are passed only from mother to offspring.Seven of the samples didn’t yield enough DNA for identification. Of the 30 that were sequenced, all matched the exact 12S RNA sequences for known species, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Ten hairs belonged to various bear species; four were from horses; four were from wolves or dogs; one was a perfect match to a human hair; and the others came from cows, raccoons, deer, and even a porcupine. Two samples, from India and Bhutan, matched polar bear 12S RNA—a surprising finding that Sykes is following up on to determine whether some Himalayan bears are hybrid species with polar bears.“I’ve had very good cooperation with the Bigfoot community, who are generally pleased that there is now a method of identifying their quarry in a way that would be universally accepted,” Sykes says. “They are returning to the forests with renewed enthusiasm in search of the ‘golden hair’ which proves their beliefs.”The fact that the findings now appear in a peer-reviewed paper, says New York University’s Disotell, is key to bridging the gap between enthusiasts hoping to understand Bigfoot and professional scientists with access to modern labs. It also illustrates the proper protocol that’s needed to test a scientific hypothesis, he adds. “I think this study will bring home the message that you can’t go off and make any old claim you want; there are scientific methods to testing claims.”last_img read more

By Andrew Halim UPF New Zealand Interreligious As

first_imgBy Andrew Halim, UPF New ZealandInterreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) was inaugurated in New Zealand on the 13th of April 2019. About 70 participants from all walks of life came to the precious, monumental event held in the Chamber Room of Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Auckland. The memory of the recent Christchurch tragedy was still fresh in everyone’s minds, bringing guests and leaders of different faiths together.The event was hosted by Mr. Geoffrey Fyers, UPF-NZ Secretary-General. It was opened with Kaumatua (Maori welcoming) by Pastor Bill Tangariki, longtime Ambassador For Peace and followed by a minute of silence for victims and their families in Christchurch.A video presentation to introduce UPF was then shown, followed by keynote address given by Mr. Adel Jamati, UPF-NZ Director, who gave a powerful speech titled “Faith and World Peace.” It inspired everyone present and set the tone for the subsequent panels of discussions.The first panel discussion was based on the topic: “A Vibrant Community for Family, Peace, and Human Development.” The speakers were:AFP/Mr. Gul Zaman; representing Islam,AFP/Mr. Ram Dharma Nand (JP), Ambassador for Sanatan; representing Hinduism,David Rankin, Ngāpuhi Leader; representing Maori Spirituality, andElder Suamalie NT Iosefa Naisali, United Reformed Christian Church Tuvalu, Kiribati in NZ; representing Christianity.In particular, Rev. Elder Suamalie NT Iosefa Naisali gave a short presentation based on his experience in 2017’s interfaith gathering in Korea after being invited by Mother Moon.The second panel discussion was based on the topic: “Religious and Political Leaders: Exploring Ways to Cooperate for Lasting Peace.” The speakers were:Anne Degia-Pala (QSM), Founder of EthNix Links Networks;Daud Azimullah, Executive Member of Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ);Ross Robertson, Former Labour Party MP; andKanwaljit Singh Bakshi, National Party MP.After each panel discussion, meaningful questions and answers were exchanged by the speakers and the audience. Dr. Muhammad Sahu Khan, longtime AFP, stood up to applaud about the importance of UPF and IAPD after the second panel discussion.To officially inaugurate IAPD, there was Peace Water Ceremony and the signing of the IAPD Resolution. A congratulatory song, “Where Peace Begins” was then sung by Mr. Andrew Halim and Mrs. Tomoyo Moriwaki who just participated in an international marriage blessing ceremony together in September last year, held by Mother Moon in Korea.The event was closed in prayer by Mrs. Ruth Cleaver, Auckland Interfaith Council President.Peace can never be understated and interfaith harmony is even more integral now than ever. In the aftermath of the Christchurch tragedy, it was inspiring to see faith-based communities banding together to promote lasting peace and harmony, centering on universal principles that UPF has been advocating since its founding. We sincerely hope that the success of this event will lead to a better future for everyone.Click to see more pictureslast_img read more