Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Attempt to sequence Bigfoot genome becomes a scientific disaster

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.

Photo: public domain

Earlier this year, a team of researchers from DNA Diagnostics in Nacogdoches, N.M., led by Melba Ketchum, published a paper to the online journal De Novo with a startling title: "Novel North American Hominins, Next Generation Sequencing of Three Whole Genomes and Associated Studies."
In layman's terms, what "novel North American hominins" refers to is Bigfoot. Yes, that's right: Ketchum and her team were claiming to have sequenced the genome of Sasquatch.

It's not every day that researchers get the opportunity to sequence the genome of a creature for which no recognized physical evidence exists. In fact, this would be the first instance of such an endeavor. The principal reason it's never been done before is because, of course, you need to have DNA before you can sequence a genome.

Though Ketchum and her team did not have a body, they did have several clumps of hair, as well as samples of flesh and blood, which were collected in the field. In fact, the team assembled as many as 111 samples from which to extract DNA — again, a remarkable feat considering no Bigfoot body has ever been identified.

Before succumbing to a collective eye roll, first consider that most of these samples, though collected unattached from an identifiable animal, did turn out to be unusual. Researchers were able to successfully determine that the samples were non-human in origin, yet the mitochondrial DNA derived from them did appear to be human.

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