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Author Topic: DNA  (Read 8471 times)

Mona Kendrick

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DNA
« on: May 04, 2010, 09:55:52 PM »

There's a lock of AE's baby hair in one of her baby books in the collection of family memorabilia donated by Muriel Morrissey to the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe.  Has Tighar inquired into the possibility of getting a few strands for DNA extraction?  Sure would be nice to have nuclear DNA to complement the mitochondrial DNA that's already on hand.

LTM,
Mona
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: DNA
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 05:25:15 AM »

My guess is that the chances of getting any of AE's baby hair from the Schlensinger Library are just about zero, but if the need arises we'll try.
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Ashley Such

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Re: DNA
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 11:41:30 AM »

Ric,

That'd be interesting if you could possibly borrow the strand to extract DNA to see if it matches the skeleton that was found in Nikimuroro. Are the skeletons still at Fiji?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: DNA
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2010, 11:44:54 AM »

The bones found in 1940 have been lost.  The last record we have dates from 1941 and has them stored at the Central Medical School in Fiji.  They're not there now and two research trips to Fiji have failed to find any trace of them.
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Tim Collins

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Re: DNA
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2010, 12:57:57 PM »

Third times a charm...  Are there any plans for another trip to look around?

T
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: DNA
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2010, 01:35:34 PM »

Not at this time. We've looked everywhere we can think of to look.
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Ashley Such

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Re: DNA
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2010, 05:11:42 PM »

The bones found in 1940 have been lost.  The last record we have dates from 1941 and has them stored at the Central Medical School in Fiji.  They're not there now and two research trips to Fiji have failed to find any trace of them.

Ric,

Thanks for your response. Such a shame that the bones are now lost. :( That probably would've been target-on evidence to Earhart's mystery.
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: DNA
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2010, 09:52:18 PM »

Just to remind everyone, there were only 13 bones found, including the skull and jaw.  That leaves some 93 bones that were not discovered in 1940, and that are, or at least were at some point, left behind on Niku. 

One of our goals during the upcoming trip is to expand our search by prospecting a bit in the areas surrounding the 7 site in hopes of locating those bones, particularly the vertebrae which were conspicuously missing from those found in 1940.  The pig taphonomy experiment demonstrated that the crabs get bored with a carcass once it dries out, and the spinal column, among other parts, gets left behind.  Other predators, such as coyotes, also leave behind the spinal column as there is too much effort and not enough meat to make it worth working on.  We've also found spinal columns of both shark and dolphin on the beach left behind by all the scavengers, so I think we have ample evidence that spinal columns stand a good chance of being abandoned by the scavengers of Niku once they dry out.  If we can find more bones, the DNA testing will follow.

Andrew McKenna
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