The Ata skeleton was discovered 15 years ago in Chili, it puzzled scientists because they thought it might have been evidence of alien life. They thought this because of the skeleton's strange proportions. The Ata skeleton is 6 inches long, has 10 pairs of ribs, and a cone shaped head. But new research proves that it is in fact a human skeleton.
Scientists at University of California and Stanford University concluded after unearthing 64 gene variants that could have caused Ata's deformations. They concluded that the skeleton was that of a girl approximately 6-8 years old when she died, who had genetic mutations linked with dwarfism and bone disorders. They made these conclusions after they ran a whole-genome analysis of the skeleton, and then running the genome through the Human Phenotype Ontology database. They did this in hopes of pinpointing genetic variants in the Ata skeleton that may be tied to a human disease.
Some of the 64 gene variants that they discovered have been associated with multiple human disorders, of those include dwarfism and rib abnormalities. The researchers identified four novel single nucleotide variants within the genes that are also linked to bone diseases such as scoliosis.
In my opinion it would have been very interesting if the research had concluded that the skeleton was evidence of alien life, however it is good that they concluded it to be human remains. They stated that the findings of this new study can help to gain a better understanding of the genetic mutations that cause bone diseases in humans. They can advance on what they have learned form the Ata skeleton. The researchers believe that with further study the findings from Ata can pave the way for new treatments of bone diseases or maybe even to speed up bone growth.
The results of this study are important and brings researchers and scientists a step closer to finding treatments from bone disease. There are many people who would be able to benefit from treatment for bone disease. Any step closer to a finding that helps take away some of the people who are suffering in life is an extraordinary finding. I hope they continue to study the Ata skeleton in order to learn more and continue the findings of helping with bone development and bone diseases.
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