A new method of examining DNA from Sitting Bull’s hair has confirmed that the grandson of a famous 19th century Indian chieftain was a South Dakota man.
The researchers extracted DNA from the hair of a seated bull, previously preserved at the Smithsonian Institution, which can be used to prove a family connection between 73-year-old Ernie Lapointe, who lived in South Dakota, and the tribe leader who died in 1890.
Lapointe, who also has three sisters, said many have questioned his origins in the past. The importance of scientific research is confirmed by the fact that
For the first time, the DNA of a long-deceased historian was used to prove a family relationship with someone who is still alive today.
The new test method was developed by a research team led by Eske Willerslev. Willerslev is Director of the GeoGenetics Center at the Lundbeck Foundation, University of Cambridge.
Researchers have worked for 14 years to extract usable DNA from severely damaged hair.
which was returned by the Smithsonian Institution to LaPoint and its sisters in 2007. Willerslev remembers reading in a magazine that LaPointes had recovered the hair of a sitting bull, and so approached the man. Lapointe asked the scientist to prove the family relationship with a DNA test.
A study published in Science Advances found that there is very little usable DNA in hair, and so it took a long time to develop a method that would make a limited amount of ancient DNA comparable to the DNA of humans living today. The new technique focuses on examining so-called genetic DNA in the genetic parts extracted from hair.
Until now, there were ways to establish the genetic link, but they required large amounts of DNA samples or were only able to show kinship to descendants. “With our new method, ancient family relationships can also be created using small amounts of DNA.” – stressed the world.
Sitting Bull – Lakota called Tatanka Ijotake –He united the Sioux Indian tribes in the fight against the settlers who occupied their lands. On June 25, 1876, the Indians led by George Armstrong’s Seventh Cavalry Regiment defeated Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Sitting Bull also contains two official burial sites, one in Fort Yates, North Dakota and the other in Mubridge, South Dakota.
Lapointe says it’s possible that his grandfather’s remains were not at Fort Yates’ tomb, but at Mubridge. As he said, a DNA test could also identify the remains in the future.
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