Scientists to continue search for Loch Ness Monster using eDNA - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Scientists to continue search for Loch Ness Monster using eDNA

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LONDON -

The search for Nessie continues. 

A global team of scientists plan to search the icy depths of Loch Ness next month using environmental DNA in an experiment to discover if Scotland's famous monster really does, or did, exist. 

eDNA sampling is already used by scientists to monitor marine life, such as sharks and whales. When an animal moves through its environment, it leaves behind tiny fragments of DNA. 

“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 team spokesman Professor Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

Reports of Nessie date back to the 6th century, and the most famous picture of the monster, known as the "surgeon's photo", was taken in 1934 showing a head and long neck emerging from the water. 60 years later, it was revealed to have been a hoax. 

15 years ago, scientists used 600 sonar beams and satellite tracking to sweep the full length of the loch. 

2 years ago, a marine drone found a monster, but it was only a replica used in the 1970 film "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes".

Scientists won't just be looking for Nessie. They expect an extraordinary amount of new information about the organisms that inhabit Loch Ness, including the discovery of new species of life, particularly bacteria. 

Expect their findings to be released in 2019. 

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