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Scientists to use genetic testing to find evidence of bigfoot

A collaboration between Oxford and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology was created to entice those possessing what is called "cryptozoological" evidence to send it to them for rigorous DNA testing.

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Researchers at Oxford are calling on those who claim to have evidence of bigfoot to send DNA for testing. (Wikimedia/Wikimedia commons)

Scientists are calling on cryptzoologists to send in DNA samples believed to be that of mystery creatures such as bigfoot.

A collaboration between Oxford and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology was created to entice those possessing what is called "cryptozoological" evidence to send it to them for rigorous DNA testing.

The project, known as the Oxford-Lausanne Collateral Hominid Project, appears to be both a way of challenging bogus theories, as well as attempting to maintain an open mind in the scientific community about sightings of the so far mythical beast.

"I'm challenging and inviting the cryptozoologists to come up with the evidence instead of complaining that science is rejecting what they have to say," said Bryan Sykes a geneticist at the University of Oxford, reported LiveScience.

Many cultures have myths based on the hairy, human-like beast, with sightings that span from Texas to Nepal.

Despite how unlikely it is the project will find evidence of the bigfoot, or "yeti," researchers say the new samples could lead to new discoveries.

It would be wonderful if one or more turned out to be species we don't know about, maybe primates, maybe even collateral hominids," said Sykes, according to LiveScience.

"That would be the optimal outcome."

Reuters reported that most of the testing will be on samples collected by researcher Bernard Heuvelmans, a late Belgian-French scientist who sought to find evidence of the yeti throughout his career.

The project will be collecting samples through September and will begin testing the most promising finds later in the fall.

Sykes said that the results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal as the first such study of cryptozoology using genetic testing.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/120522/scientists-use-genetic-testing-find-evidence-bigfoot