- uploaded: Jan 4, 2009
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Several tests have been performed on the Starchild skull at different labs around the world, most funded by Pye and his supporters. Tests have included CAT scans, X-rays, radiocarbon dating by carbon 14, bone scans, scanning electron microscope analysis, mitochondrial DNA analysis, and nuclear DNA recovery.
In 1999, a chromosomal analysis of the skull was attempted by the BOLD Laboratory, Vancouver. This analysis showed that the skull\'s nuclear DNA responded slightly to an amelogenin primer. At only 200 picograms of DNA recovered, it was well under the usual minimum recovery value of 1000 picograms needed to make a reliable determination. However, the BOLD lab felt sufficient confidence in their result to announce that the Starchild was a fully human male child.
Because Pye was unconvinced by the BOLD Lab analysis, he arranged for a more detailed analysis of mitochondrial DNA extracted from both the skull of the purported Starchild and the adult female skeleton found with it. The results of this analysis from Trace Genetics became available in 2003. Human mtDNA was extracted from both the skull of the purported Starchild and that of the adult female found nearby. Nuclear DNA was also extracted from the adult female in two PCR reactions. The lab reported that both the Starchild Skull and adult female had mtDNA consistent with Native American origin (haplogroup C and haplogroup A, respectively) - excluding a \"mother-offspring relationship between the two individuals\". This demonstrates that the Starchild\'s mother was human, as mtDNA is passed to offspring maternally. Pye claims that the lack of nuclear DNA from the Starchild skull but not from the adult supports his hypothesis.
Carbon dating of the skull shows that the skull is likely to be around 900 years old. This is consistent with the owner\'s apparent Native American origin suggested by the DNA evidence.