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6-inch skeleton found in Chile not of alien: Study

Some of these mutations, though found in genes already known to cause disease, had never before been associated with bone growth or developmental disorders

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The skeleton found was not of an alien. IANS
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  • The skeleton found in Chile is not of an alien
  • Instead of an alien, it could be an infant with a bone-ageing disorder
  • The discovery earlier held the interest of many

Ruling out the possibility of the extra-terrestrial origin of a mysterious six-inch skeleton discovered in Chile, scientists have found that it was of a female, likely a foetus, who had a rare, bone-ageing disorder.

Discovered more than a decade ago in an abandoned town in the Atacama Desert, the mummified specimen, nicknamed Ata, started to garner public attention after it found a permanent home in Spain.

Standing just six inches tall with an angular, elongated skull and sunken, slanted eye sockets, the Internet began to bubble with other-worldly hullabaloo and talk of ET. But the analysis by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists suggests that Ata was, without doubt, a human.

Earlier the skeleton was thought to belong to an alien. Pixabay

This was the skeleton of a human female that had suffered severe genetic mutations, according to the study published in the journal published in the Genome Research. Ata, though most likely a foetus, had the bone composition of a six-year-old, an indication that she had a rare, bone-ageing disorder, the study found.

To understand the genetic drivers at play, the researchers extracted a small DNA sample from Ata’s ribs and sequenced the entire genome. The skeleton is approximately 40 years old, so its DNA is modern and still relatively intact. Moreover, data collected from whole-genome sequencing showed that Ata’s molecular composition aligned with that of a human genome.

Wile a small percentage of the DNA was unmatchable with human DNA, that was due to a degraded sample, not extraterrestrial biology, said one of the researchers Garry Nolan, Professor at Stanford. The genomic results confirmed Ata’s Chilean descent and turned up a slew of mutations in seven genes that separately or in combinations contribute to various bone deformities, facial malformations or skeletal dysplasia, more commonly known as dwarfism.

Also Read: Do Aliens Exist? 10 Undeniable Reasons that will make you believe in Aliens!

Some of these mutations, though found in genes already known to cause disease, had never before been associated with bone growth or developmental disorders. Knowing these new mutational variants could be useful, Nolan said, because they add to the repository of known mutations to look for in humans with these kinds of bone or physical disorders.

“For me, what really came of this study was the idea that we shouldn’t stop investigating when we find one gene that might explain a symptom. It could be multiple things going wrong, and it’s worth getting a full explanation, especially as we head closer and closer to gene therapy,” said study co-author Atul Butte of the University of California-San Francisco. IANS

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Google to Invest Around $140mn to Expand its Data Center in Chile

The complex runs on renewable energy coming from El Romero solar plant, located in northern Chile's Atacama Desert

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Google arms admins to monitor workers in G-Suite apps. Pixabay

Google will invest around $140 million to expand its data center in Chile, the company’s only infrastructure of its kind in Latin America, which houses the information of millions of its users, the tech giant announced on Wednesday.

The complex, built in the Santiago suburb of Quilicura, is part of a group of 15 data centers that store and transmit information generated by applications like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Waze and Uber, Efe reported.

During an event in the Chilean capital, attended by President Sebastian Piñera, Google announced that it will triple the data center’s capacity, hiring around 1,000 people for the construction.

“With this investment, we are preparing for the future. We seek to improve the data center with this development, because our users will demand more and more information,” said Edgardo Frias, country manager of Google Chile.

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A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The company confirmed that only a handful of employees will have access to the server room – the highly-secured heart of the complex.

The expansion comes six years after Google announced the creation of the data center with an initial investment of $150 million.

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“This expansion will mean improving our users’ experience. We seek to make technology more accessible and easier to use,” Frias said.

The complex runs on renewable energy coming from El Romero solar plant, located in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. (IANS)

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