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Forum Home - Go Back > General > Native Life > News How did this news story get buried?  Ancient skeleton mystery!! How did this news story get buried? Ancient skeleton mystery!!

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Old 05-15-2013, 01:46 PM   #1
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How did this news story get buried? Ancient skeleton mystery!!

Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery - Technology & science - Science - LiveScience | NBC News


By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor

updated 4/30/2013 4:20:52 PM ET 2013-04-30T20:20:52
Print Font: +-A teensy skeleton with a squashed alienlike head may have earthly origins, but the remains, found in the Atacama Desert a decade ago, do make for quite a medical mystery.

Apparently when the mummified specimen was discovered, some had suggested the possibility it was an alien that had somehow landed on Earth, though the researchers involved never suggested this otherworldly origin.

Now, DNA and other tests suggest the individual was a human and was 6 to 8 years of age when he or she died. Even so, the remains were just 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. [ See Images of the Alien-Looking Human Remains ]

"While the jury is out regarding the mutations that cause the deformity, and there is a real discrepancy in how we account for the apparent age of the bones … every nucleotide I've been able to look at is human," researcher Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, told LiveScience. "I've only scratched the surface in the analysis. But there is nothing that jumps out so far as to scream 'nonhuman.'"

Analyzing the tiny human

Nolan and his colleagues analyzed the specimen in the fall of 2012 with high-resolution photography, X-rays and computed tomography scans, as well as DNA sequencing. The researchers wanted to find out whether some rare disorder could explain the anomalous skeleton — for instance it had just 10 ribs as opposed to 12 in a healthy human — the age the organism died, as its size suggested a preterm fetus, stillborn or a deformed child, and whether it was human or perhaps a South American nonhuman primate.

The remains also showed skull deformities and mild underdevelopment of the mid-face and jaw, the researchers found. The skull also showed signs of turricephaly, or high-head syndrome, a birth defect in which the top of the skull is cone-shaped.

The genome sequencing suggested the creature was human, though 9 percent of the genes didn't match up with the reference human genome; the mismatches may be due to various factors, including degradation, artifacts from lab preparation of the specimen or insufficient data.

The team also looked at mitochondrial DNA, or the DNA inside the cells' energy-making structures that gets passed down from mothers to offspring. The so-called allele frequency of the mitochondrial DNA suggested the individual came from the Atacama, particularly from the B2 haplotype group. A haplotype is a long segment of ancestral DNA that stays the same over several generations and can pinpoint a group who share a common ancestor way back in time. In this case the B2 haplotype is found on the west coast of South America.

The data from the mitochondrial DNA alleles point toward "the mother being an indigenous woman from the Chilean area of South America," Nolan wrote in an email.

More mystery

The jury is still out on the mutations that caused the deformities, and the researchers aren't certain how old the bones are, though they estimate the individual died at least a few decades ago. In addition, they didn't find any of the mutations commonly associated with primordial dwarfism or other forms of dwarfism. If there is a genetic basis for the deformities, it is "not apparent at this level of resolution and at this stage of the analysis," Nolan wrote in a summary of his work.

In addition, even if they found those mutations, they may not explain the anomalies seen in the skeleton. "There is no known form of dwarfism that accounts for all of the anomalies seen in this specimen," Dr. Ralph Lachman, professor emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine, and clinical professor at Stanford University, wrote in a report to Nolan.

This wouldn't be the first time alien-looking remains have been brought to the attention of science. The alienlike skulls of children were discovered in a 1,000-year-old cemetery in Mexico. Researchers who examined the skulls said they had been deliberately warped and illustrated a practice of skull deformation that was common at the time in Central America.

"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," Nolan wrote of the Atacama skeleton.

The research was featured in film "Sirius," a crowd-funded documentary that premiered on April 22 in Hollywood, Calif.

Follow Jeanna Bryner onTwitter andGoogle+. Follow [email protected]Livescience,Facebook &Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

More pics, including Xrays at:
Image Gallery: Odd Alien-Looking Skeleton Poses Medical Mystery | Atacama Desert Skeleton | LiveScience
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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I wish I could like my own link. Sure it's creepy, and maybe they shouldn't mess around with this stuff....but it's sure-fire evidence of little people in the Western Hemisphere.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:14 PM   #3
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I saw an article about this on Huffpost a couple weeks ago. I didn't realize they'd determined he/she was 6 - 8 years old when he died. I find that very hard to believe a human could reach the age of 6 or 8 and only be 6 inches tall. They've either miscalculated his age at death, he's only part-human, or he's not quite human but very, very close.

Very interesting, but also pretty creepy.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:54 AM   #4
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anyone know any yavapais? maybe they can tell us if it's similar to a kakaka
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RDNKJ View Post
I saw an article about this on Huffpost a couple weeks ago. I didn't realize they'd determined he/she was 6 - 8 years old when he died. I find that very hard to believe a human could reach the age of 6 or 8 and only be 6 inches tall. They've either miscalculated his age at death, he's only part-human, or he's not quite human but very, very close.

Very interesting, but also pretty creepy.
Yes, creepy!!

I've heard of two types of little people - those about 2-3 feet tall, and those about a foot tall. If this little person was 6 inches at 6-8 years old, they might have reached 10 inches when full grown.

The mothers mitochondrial DNA was defininetly human.

Hmm...so little people have human DNA, or it was only part human.

Although, it looks kinda "ALIEN", I've heard little people look pretty ugly..no offense, anyone.

But to speculate:
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