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Author Topic: DNA  (Read 22641 times)

Tim Collins

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DNA
« on: July 24, 2009, 08:52:15 AM »

What news on the DNA front? 

I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but its an exciting  possibility nonetheless.  Just looking forward to the day when it can be asked for whom the gun smokes.

TAC
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: DNA
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2009, 05:17:50 AM »

What news on the DNA front? 

I know I shouldn't get my hopes up, but its an exciting  possibility nonetheless.  Just looking forward to the day when it can be asked for whom the gun smokes.
I'm sure Ric will have a report eventually.  I believe the basic testing is complete. 

Marty
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Timothy Smith

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Re: DNA
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 05:37:48 PM »

If you read the recent "Tracks", you'll see that the DNA was a match with our fearless leader.  Perhaps he can speculate how it got there. :'(
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Mona Kendrick

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Re: DNA
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 12:13:45 PM »

If you read the recent "Tracks", you'll see that the DNA was a match with our fearless leader.  Perhaps he can speculate how it got there. :'(

Has Ric considered the possibility he's descended from an Earhart relative on his mother's side?  Just kidding.   :)

--Mona
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: DNA
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009, 10:58:25 AM »

There's some new hope on the DNA front.  Please see the article on the front page of the TIGHAR News section.

Ric
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: DNA
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2009, 11:54:31 AM »

Please see the article on the front page of the TIGHAR News section.

What we mean when we say "the TIGHAR News section" is http://tighar.org/news.

Clicking on the big TIGHAR logo in the upper-left corner of the Forum will take you there.

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Tim Collins

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Re: DNA
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 11:47:29 AM »

It's real exciting to hear that the International Women's Air and Space Museum is onboard with a DNA reference for the new analysis.  (I live but a few miles from IWASM and never knew they were there. I've got to get out more...)

How solid is the provenance on the hair sample?

t
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: DNA
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2009, 02:05:19 PM »

"How solid is the provenance on the hair sample?"

Not very. It's just the story that came with the hair.  However, if we can recover mtDNA from the hair and if it matches the mtDNA of the Earhart relative, then we can be quite sure that both are legit.  That would be a big plus because then, if we get an mtDNA match from something from the island, we'd have a three-way match. 
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Tim Collins

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Re: DNA
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2009, 07:10:08 AM »

"How solid is the provenance on the hair sample?"

Not very. It's just the story that came with the hair.  ....

Please forgive how this may sound, but, I sure hope they bring to the table more than that. That's a pretty expensive shot in the dark.

t
« Last Edit: September 03, 2009, 07:15:50 AM by Tim Collins »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: DNA
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2009, 07:38:48 AM »

... I sure hope they bring to the table more than that. ...

People kept locks of hair in the past for sentimental rather than scientific reasons.  Had they foreseen the development of forensic genetics, they undoubtedly would have maintained a firmer chain of custody.

If you know of a sample of hair from AE that has such provenance, you should let TIGHAR know about it.

In the absence of such well-accredited samples, testing them against each other and against known mitochondrial DNA from AE's family seems to me to be a reasonable use of today's scientific techniques to test yesterday's claims.  If the samples pass the test, that, in turn, may bring other samples out into the light.

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Tim Collins

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Re: DNA
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2009, 08:08:49 AM »

For some reason this has nagged me since Ric replied. I know that beggars can't be choosers when it comes to locating such rarities as Earhart DNA, but it just seems to be quite a leap for TIGHAR to let them jump on the band wagon (a very expensive one at that) with such an iffy sample. I guess what I was getting at was that I hope they're buying ($$) in to the project as well. Sorry if seem to be overly suspicious or skeptical. DNA testing isn't usually a buy one get one free affair. Enough said, I certainly have trust and faith that you guys know what you're doing and no little amount of amazement at what you've done and how you've done it.

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: DNA
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2009, 06:01:25 PM »

... I know that beggars can't be choosers when it comes to locating such rarities as Earhart DNA, but it just seems to be quite a leap for TIGHAR to let them jump on the band wagon (a very expensive one at that) with such an iffy sample. I guess what I was getting at was that I hope they're buying ($$) in to the project as well. ...

Since the DNA testing is destructive, the folks donating the hair samples are making a valuable contribution to the effort.

They are also staking the value of the remaining hair on the outcome of the test.  If they win the bet, the value of their sample goes way up; if they lose the bet, the locks of hair become worthless.

Meanwhile, TIGHAR gains a very important DNA baseline if either sample is accredited by the test--possibly even AE's own DNA, if I understood what Ric was saying.  The cash outlay is actually quite small compared to the value of the information that may be obtained.   I don't know what the actual numbers are, but TIGHAR has invested many millions of dollars in the various and sundry AE expeditions.  The lab tests are a pittance compared to that total investment.

(If anybody wants to contribute to the pittance needed for these or other lab tests, there is a donation form on the website.)

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Tim Collins

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Re: DNA
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2009, 02:05:25 PM »

Local Cleveland media has been reporting that the IWASM hair sample is actually thread.  I always new Earhart was a doll... and this confirms it!

But seriously, can TIGHAR offer any elaboration on this?

T
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: DNA
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2009, 03:29:36 PM »

Local Cleveland media has been reporting that the IWASM hair sample is actually thread.  ...

I have the impression that the PART of the sample that IWASM let TIGHAR test turned out to be thread.

Does that mean that all of the IWASM sample is nothing but thread?  Folks who know the IWASM speciment would have to answer that.

Marty
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Hal Banks

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Re: DNA
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2009, 08:29:14 AM »

It's exciting to think that we can test for DNA left on artifacts after 70 years.  But, wouldn't all artifacts have the DNA of everyone that ever touched it from manufacture to distributor to consumer (AE)?  Is it possible to sort them out?

Hal
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