Wednesday, August 17

DNA confirms the existence of a living descendant of Sitting Bull | Digital Trends Spanish


A new method of DNA analysis developed at the University of Cambridge confirmed the existence of a living descendant of Sitting Bull, the legendary icon of the resistance of the United States who died in 1890.

Ernie Lapointe is a Native American author who for years maintained that he is the great-grandson of Sitting Bull. But that blood relationship could never be verified, which generated many questions about his statements despite having evidence based on official family documents.

Ernie Lapointe (Getty Images)

Fortunately for Lapointe, his relationship with Sitting Bull was finally corroborated as Cambridge scientists, in conjunction with the Lundbeck Foundation’s geogenetics center, created a technique to look for traces of autosomal DNA (that is, in non-sex chromosomes cells) in very small numbers of cells.

The results were then compared with Enrie Lapointe’s autosomal DNA, confirming that the latter is a descendant of Sitting Bull.

According to the study, it took 14 years of research to finally get information from the DNA of a hair sample from Sitting Bull. This was in a state not suitable for traditional genetic analysis, as it remained in a museum for more than 100 years at an unsuitable temperature.

Scientists believe this method will be useful for studying genetic data from human remains too degraded for analysis using traditional techniques, either to find relatives of ancient historical figures or to aid in forensic investigations.

For his part, this discovery closes a chapter for Ernie Lapointe, who now hopes to be able to lift the remains of Sitting Bull from the place where they are found and bury them again in a site more suitable for what the ancient Native American represented.

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