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SALT LAKE CITY — A new study is getting attention for claiming to have found genetic evidence that not only does Bigfoot exist — the creature is also part human.
A 5-year-long DNA study currently under peer review — meaning there is no credible scientific evidence yet — claims the creature is a human relative whose origins can be traced to 15,000 years ago. The creature apparently came into existence when female homo sapiens mated with males of an unknown primate species, according to the research.
A team of scientists in Texas sequenced samples of purported Bigfoot DNA and found that mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother, was identical to human mitochondrial DNA. But nuclear DNA samples — those with material from both parents — appeared to involve a "novel, unknown hominin related to Homo sapiens and other primate species."
"Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected," Dr. Melba S. Ketchum, the team lead, said in prepared remarks. "While it has human nuclear DNA within its genome, there are also distinctly non-human, non-archaic hominin, and non-ape sequences."
Sasquatch nuclear DNA is incredibly novel and not at all what we had expected.
–Dr. Melba S. Ketchum
Ketchum went one step further than claiming Bigfoot exists, though: the researcher called upon public officials and law enforcement to recognize the creature as an indigenous people.
"Government at all levels must recognize them as an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights against those who would see in their physical and cultural differences a ‘license' to hunt, trap, or kill them," she said.
Ketchum is not linked to a research institution, but founded DNA Diagnostics, a molecular genetics laboratory, in 1985. Since the study has not gone through the peer review process, it has no credibility in the scientific community as of right now and cannot be taken as real evidence by scientific standards.