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Loch Ness DNA tests to aid in hunt for Nessie


Posted on Wednesday, 23 May, 2018 | Comment icon 23 comments

Is there a monster lurking in the depths of Loch Ness ? Image Credit: CC 2.0 Dave Conner
Scientists are aiming to learn exactly what types of creatures are living in Scotland's enigmatic loch.
The study, which is being led by New Zealand scientist Professor Neil Gemmell, will use DNA sampling techniques to see if there is any scientific basis for the monster legend.

"I'm going into this thinking it's unlikely there is a monster, but I want to test that hypothesis," he said. "What we'll get is a really nice survey of the biodiversity of Loch Ness."

For the analysis, samples of water from the loch will be collected over a period of two weeks.

"There's absolutely no doubt that we will find new stuff, and that's very exciting," said Gemmell.

"While the prospect of looking for evidence of the Loch Ness monster is the hook to this project, there is an extraordinary amount of new knowledge that we will gain from the work about organisms that inhabit Loch Ness."

If there is a monster in the loch, it will have left traces such as skin, scales or faeces in the water.

"This DNA can be captured, sequenced and then used to identify that creature by comparing the sequence obtained to large databases of known genetic sequences from hundreds of thousands of different organisms," said Gemmell.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (23)

Tags: Loch Ness Monster

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by NicoletteS on 23 May, 2018, 17:38
Because if any DNA analyzed doesn't match up toany known species then it would qualify as previously unknown.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Jon the frog on 23 May, 2018, 17:57
Yeah... in any sample you will have unidentified DNA chain... even in an aquarium. You need some kind of marker first to identify something, so it's good to search for something you know but hard to say ''eureka ! Monster DNA !''
Comment icon #16 Posted by NicoletteS on 23 May, 2018, 18:11
True. Ifan unknown sequence was found however odds are it would have similarities to other species and at least be assessed categorically. I may be no expert but if DNA was found that was dissimilar to any known inhabitants of the lake or related any non-native species it would be a pretty obvious clue.
Comment icon #17 Posted by paperdyer on 23 May, 2018, 18:20
The results of this testing doesn't matter. If the scientists find something odd, the believers will say "see, I told you so!". If they find nothing unidentifiable the same people will say "The tests are wrong. Nessie Lives!!!".
Comment icon #18 Posted by Calibeliever on 23 May, 2018, 19:32
Good PR. I hope it brings in a few extra duckets for their research,which (Nessie aside) sounds fascinating.
Comment icon #19 Posted by ~Onyx~ on 26 May, 2018, 15:39
I hope they find the DNA of an unknown ape species, that way the folks who believe in 'Ol Footy AND the Aquatic Ape theory people can have a Battle Royal with the Nessie Nerds. It would be epic, we could call it "Lunacy at the Loch", or something.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Black Monk on 28 May, 2018, 12:09
No. Loch Ness is the largest lake in the UK by volume, containing more water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined. It is the fourth largest UK lake by area, and has a length of over 24 miles.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Baldylocks on 28 May, 2018, 12:12
Ah I see but still, if there was such thing we would know by now, like big foot etc.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Black Monk on 28 May, 2018, 12:16
Why would we have done? New species are discovered every year. Several new species were discovered in Loch Ness a few years ago.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Baldylocks on 28 May, 2018, 12:19
Seen the size of it? and exactly they are finding new stuff all the time. Small to big, yet cant find the so called Nessie? maybe its shy...


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