Science & Technology
8th Nov, 2021
A technique based on 'autosomal DNA' has been used for the first time to identify the great-grandson and closest living relative of Sitting Bull, a prominent 19th century Native American leader.
What is Autosomal DNA?
- Autosomal DNA is our non-gender-specific DNA.
- The technique searches for ‘autosomal DNA’ in the genetic fragments extracted from a body sample.
- The autosomal DNA technique can be used even when very limited genetic data are available, like in this case.
- It could be used in the future to identify living descendants of other long-dead historical figures.
The usual technique
- Usually, DNA techniques such as mitochondrial DNA, which means DNA passed from the mother or Y chromosome DNA passed down the male line, have been used in genetic searches.
- Sitting Bull is most famous for his victory over US General George Armstrong Custer in the Battle of the Little Bighorn River in 1876.
- Five companies of the US Army were completely wiped out in the battle, considered widely to be the most significant Native American military victory in US history.
- Sitting Bull, who hailed from the Lakota branch of the Great Sioux Nation or Oceti Sakowin, was killed in 1890 by ‘Indian Police’, acting on behalf of the US government.