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DNA sampling may help scientists find the Loch Ness monster

A team of scientists is using eDNA sampling to find the creature.
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Does the Loch Ness monster exist? Many say no, but the fabled creature has captured imaginations for decades. Now, a group of scientists wants to figure it out once and for all. According to Reuters, a team led by Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand will use a technique called eDNA sampling to try and capture DNA to determine if the monster exists (or if it ever existed).

Environmental DNA sampling is currently used to monitor marine life. As a shark or whale moves through the water, it sheds DNA via skin fragments, urine and more. "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," Gemmell told Reuters. Using this technique, the team wants to see if they can capture DNA from the fabled monster.

While finding Nessie might be the "fun" part of this expedition that brings it attention, the international team's goal is to study the overall wildlife within Loch Ness. Still, the allure of finding evidence of the Loch Ness monster can't be denied. The team will start looking next month and they will present their findings in January 19. If you'd like to follow along, Gemmell is already tweeting about the search at @ProfGemmell.

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