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Reconstruction of the mitochondrial DNA sequence and analysis shows an allele frequency consistent with a B2 haplotype group found on the west coast of South America, supporting the claimed origination of the specimen from the Atacama Desert region of Chile.
To the chagrin of UFO hunters, Ata is decidedly of this world. After mapping more than 500 million reads to a reference human genome, equating to 17.7-fold coverage of the genome, Nolan concluded that Ata "is human, there's no doubt about it." Moreover, the specimen's B2 haplotype—a category of mitochondrial DNA—reveals that its mother was from the west coast of South America: Chile, that is.
Meanwhile, after examining x-rays, Lachman concluded that Aka's skeletal development, based on the density of the epiphyseal plates of the knees (growth plates at the end of long bones found only in children), surprisingly appears to be equivalent to that of a 6- to 8-year-old child. If that holds up, there are two possibilities, Nolan says. One, a long shot, is that Ata had a severe form of dwarfism, was actually born as a tiny human, and lived until that calendar age. To test that hypothesis, he will try to extract hemoglobin from the specimen's bone marrow and compare the relative amounts of fetal versus adult hemoglobin proteins. The second possibility is that Ata, the size of a 22-week-old fetus, suffered from a severe form of a rare rapid aging disease, progeria, and died in the womb or after premature birth.
Nolan hasn't yet turned up hits for genes known to be associated with progeria or dwarfism. He's stepping up the search for mutations through additional sequencing and casting a wider net. Another possibility is a teratogen: a birth defect-inducing toxicant along the lines of thalidomide. Nolan plans to analyze tissue using mass spectrometry to look for toxicants or metabolites. But reports of a handful of other Tom Thumb-sized skeletons from Russia and elsewhere have Nolan leaning toward a genetic explanation.
At least one expert has a more prosaic take—but agrees that the specimen is human. "This looks to me like a badly desiccated and mummified human fetus or premature stillbirth," says William Jungers, a paleoanthropologist and anatomist at Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York. He notes that "barely ossified and immature elements" of the hands and feet, and the wide open metopic suture, where the two frontal bones of the skull come together down the middle of the forehead. "Genetic anomalies are not evident, probably because there aren't any," he says. Nolan responds that the rib number and epiphyseal plate densities remain a riddle; while he is open to the fetus hypothesis, he thinks that the jury is still out.
Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine, along with others, studied the skeleton extensively in 2012.
According to Nolan, the humanoid is male and shows indications of being about six to eight years old at death, despite its tiny size, and this is probably due to one of two causes: the Atacama humanoid may have suffered from a severe form of the rapid aging disease progeria, and died in the womb or after premature birth, or, less likely, it had a severe form of dwarfism, was actually born as a tiny human, and lived until age six to eight.
"It's an interesting medical mystery of an unfortunate human with a series of birth defects that currently the genetics of which are not obvious," wrote Nolan.
The researchers have not yet found any of the genetic mutations commonly associated with any form of dwarfism.
Even if such mutations are found, other aspects of the skeleton might not be explained by them; there is no known form of dwarfism that accounts for all of the anomalies seen in the specimen, according to pediatric radiologist Ralph Lachman, a clinical professor at Stanford University and professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Medicine and co-director of the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
William Jungers, a paleoanthropologist and anatomist at Stony Brook University Medical Center, notes that the specimen looks to him like a desiccated and mummified human fetus or premature stillbirth.
Originally posted by solve
reply to post by OrionHunterX
hello, that is an intriguing subject indeed,,,,
i am a skulls and bones collector, sculptor, and a model designer...
i could pull that of quite easily,---but those ex-rays confuse me,,, there are some unexplained questions..
the give away are the finger bones, those are hard to do,,, and as in this case, those are not done as nicely, as the rest of the mummy.... also the missing knee joints and etc...
i still hope its an actual alien mummy,,,edit on 3-6-2013 by solve because: joints missing?
Originally posted by wildtimes
After all, Greer DID SAY he's not claiming it's ET. He's saying they don't know what it is, how it survived, or if it's a previously unknown genetic "mutation" -
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