Forum:Crowd Sourcing The 'Analysis' Of The 'Big Foot' Genome
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11.3 years ago
Will 4.5k

I'm sure most of you have seen the news about the BigFoot genome being published in the brand-new De Novo Journal. Is anyone here interested in doing a crowd-source analysis of the bigfoot genome? We can either post observations here or post links to our own blog-posts?

The article is behind a paywall and I've read that the sequences can be downloaded from there. Has anyone already downloaded them and is willing to share them?

bigfoot genome • 4.0k views
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11.3 years ago

I'm not sure if I want to give any sense of legitimacy to their adventures in science. But, I suppose it could be fun to do some forensic science and publicly debunk their "paper". On the other hand, I love the idea of having this community crowd source a specific problem. Maybe something else a little more legit?

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+1. I know that collaborations begun on BioStar have led to publications in the past. I'd like to see a lot more of that, to provide more evidence that open online science is valuable.

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+1 The little boy in me wants to look at the data, but honestly I think the best thing to do is just ignore it. Maybe we could raise some funds to do real science via kickstart or something? I'm in.

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11.3 years ago
SES 8.6k

There are some really great statements about this work that I've never come across in science:

  1. "...the team behind this startling research had some trouble publishing a paper describing their results...they've solved that problem... by establishing a brand new journal. The journal's site appears to be a mix of clip art and some basic HTML."

  2. "Though it claims to be 'open access,' the site actually charges $30 to see the (bigfoot) paper."

  3. "The authors speculate that...but there's absolutely no evidence for that. The best explanation here is contamination."

I think I'll stay away from this one, but I did give you an upvote because I find it entertaining.

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I wasn't expecting to go through the DNA arrive at 'big foot'. I'm expecting to go through the data and arrive at some more reasonable alternative hypotheses.

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What do you mean reasonable alternative hypothesis? Like, bigfoot isn't real? Or, their data is from another source? Sorry, I'm not trying to be facetious, I don't understand what you mean.

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My expectation was to look at different sources the samples could have come from. But until I can take a good look at the data I'm not 100 percent sure.

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I agree--my expectations are not high for the data, but I think it is important from a forensics perspective--the forensics of the authors' behavior.

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I am baffled as to the motivation of these people. Clearly, their work is complete nonsense. If they believe otherwise, they must be mentally ill. If they do not believe it themselves, it's an awful lot of effort to create material so easily denounced as rubbish. Are they just attention seeking? I will never understand.

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Yes, if you actually believe there is something real here for one minute then you are no different from those people running around the woods with night vision looking for bigfoot. This is good for a laugh though and it has generated some fantastic comments. The top comment on that site is hilarious and is making fun of the fact that they announced a new journal with only one article :).

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Yeah, agreed. And I could sort of imagine one or two people being so deep in the mania that they convince each other to do this. But there's a list of authors: Ketchum, M. S., Wojtkiewicz, P. W., Watts, A. B., Spence, D. W., Holzenburg, A. K., Toler, D. G., Prychitko, T. M., Zhang, F., Bollinger, S., Shoulders, R., Smith, R. They can't all be ill.

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I found the story funny and entertaining - for 5 minutes or so. That is all the time I would devote to such rubbish. It's great that there are people willing to completely debunk the story with further analysis, but I'm not one of them. Reminds me of the Arthur C. Clarke quote: "l have now observed so many UFOs that the subject bores me to tears and l wouldn't cross the street to see another."

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11.3 years ago
Mary 11k

I am told these are the sequences:

http://t.co/TOFPhTx http://t.co/YT3lJh8 http://t.co/kT5QuYB

I wouldn't usually do this, but I think these should have already been in GenBank anyway, and the claim that they couldn't put them there was incorrect.

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If anyone required further evidence as to how nonsensical this is, providing sequence data in PDF format should seal it :)

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Funny, that was the first thing I noticed as well.

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Yeah, I noticed that too ... even dumping the data out of them is annoying.

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Yes, what are those "^L" characters seen using pdftotext and how to remove them? Not that I'm looking :)

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Excellent. If nobody had them by the end of the day I would have coughed it up myself.

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11.2 years ago
Mary 11k

There was a pretty amusing assessment of the paper and some discussion of the sequence here:

Episode 19: Sasquatch!

http://youtu.be/_LTjxSs3zzg

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