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The skinny

The skinny: In the hunt for Bigfoot, DNA is a real downer

Only mundane stuff

In the hunt for Bigfoot, DNA is a real downer

DNA testing is taking a bite out of the Bigfoot legend. After scientists analyzed more than 30 hair samples reportedly left behind by Bigfoot and similar mythical beasts like the Himalayan Yeti, they found all of them came from more mundane creatures like bears, wolves, cows and raccoons. In 2012, researchers at Oxford University and the Lausanne Museum of Zoology issued an open call asking museums, scientists and Bigfoot aficionados to share any samples (like the one at right above converted to DNA) they thought were from the legendary apelike creatures. "I thought there was about a 5 percent chance of finding a sample from a Neanderthal or (a Yeti)," said Bryan Sykes of Oxford University, who led the research. The results were published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Sykes and colleagues tested 36 hair samples from Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia and the United States using DNA sequencing. All matched DNA from known animals.

A bovine tale

Some mooing, and an unusual rescue

From the Daily Telegraph of London comes this improbable but true story: A cow was lifted out of a drain in Guangxi province, China, by firemen on Thursday. The cow's owner, who gave his name only as Mr. Huang, called firefighters to the scene. Using ropes and a small crane, they hauled the startled animal to safety. According to Mr. Huang, he was walking the cow on Tuesday when it suddenly ran away. He searched for two days for the animal before he heard it mooing at the bottom of a drain.

Lost and found

Nine-page letter arrives really late

A letter written by a Maine schoolteacher in 1931 to her mother 150 miles away has finally been delivered — 83 years later. Twenty-three-year-old Miriam McMichael sent the nine-page letter from Houlton to Dollena McMichael in Pittsfield. Both have since died. The letter was only recently found at the Pittsfield post office, the Morning Sentinel reported. The letter is now in the hands of 69-year-old Ann MacMichael of Cornville, Miriam's niece and Dollena's granddaughter. The spelling of the family name has changed. MacMichael says the irony is that the writer apologizes for not writing sooner.

Too much to drink

When critters, tree get in driver's way

A man arrested for drunken driving blamed a turtle, a cat, a squirrel and an overhanging tree for his wreck in Central Texas. When police arrived at the scene southeast of College Station, the slurring driver was still in his seat and unaware of his location. The Eagle of Bryan-College Station reported that the man, 33, told officers he swerved to avoid the critters and hit the tree.

Compiled from wire services and other sources

The skinny: In the hunt for Bigfoot, DNA is a real downer 07/04/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 4, 2014 8:23pm]
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