73-Year-Old Man From South Dakota Confirmed As Sitting Bull's Great-Grandson Through New Advanced DNA Technique

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73-Year-Old Man From South Dakota Confirmed As Sitting Bull's Great-Grandson Through New Advanced DNA Technique

A 73-year-old man from South Dakota has been confirmed as the great-grandson of Native American leader Sitting Bull after scientists used a new technique and DNA from the hair of the icon.

Ernie LaPointe has long claimed that he was a direct descendant, but this had been dismissed by others. The new method could mean that many others alive today could be directly traced back to famous people throughout history.

Previously, while DNA analysis is a highly accurate tool for confirming lineage, it had been very difficult to confirm DNA from those who had died a long time previously or when minimal DNA was available. The new technique developed by scientists at the Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre at the University of Cambridge overcame these problems.


The team at the university has spent the last 14 years perfecting their technique and Mr LaPointe is the first to have his ancestry confirmed in such a way.


LaPointe told reporters:


"I feel this DNA research is another way of identifying my lineal relationship to my great-grandfather. People have been questioning our relationship to our ancestor as long as I can remember. These people are just a pain in the place you sit - and will probably doubt these findings, also."


Eske Willerslev, who led the team of scientists, added:


"LaPointe asked me to extract DNA from it and compare it to his DNA to establish relationship. I got very little hair and there was very limited DNA in it. It took us a long time developing a method that, based on limited ancient DNA, can by compared to that of living people across multiple generations."


Adding:


"There existed methods, but they demanded for substantial amounts of DNA or did only allow to go to the level of grandchildren. With our new method, it is possible to establish deeper-time family relationships using tiny amounts of DNA."


Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa tribal leader in the Dakota area who died in 1890. He famously led the Native Americans into battles against the US Government who sought to expand their control over Native lands. He famously led the battel against Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn where Custer had his' last stand'. Sitting Bull later went on tour with Buffalo Bill's wild west show but was arrested by US officials soon after. While facing arrest he was murdered by an official of the government.


[Based on reporting by: Reuters]


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Thinking Humanity: 73-Year-Old Man From South Dakota Confirmed As Sitting Bull's Great-Grandson Through New Advanced DNA Technique
73-Year-Old Man From South Dakota Confirmed As Sitting Bull's Great-Grandson Through New Advanced DNA Technique
A 73-year-old man from South Dakota has been confirmed as the great-grandson of Native American leader Sitting Bull after scientists used a new techni
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