Entries in Oxford (2)


Researchers at Oxford University Investigating Big Foot

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OXFORD, England) -- Researchers at Oxford University in England are taking on a big challenge with their latest DNA investigation: Bigfoot.

Scientists at the university’s Wolfson College have begun a study that sets out to identify the types of animals and species that hikers and mountaineers around the world have identified as Bigfoot, Yeti, and Sasquatch.

Geneticist Bryan Sykes, who is leading the study, is asking anyone with evidence of Bigfoot or a Yeti to send in their evidence and help scientists figure out what the mythical creature actually could be. The scientists will perform DNA analysis on hair or other samples to try and identify the species of animal, according to the report.

“I’m challenging and inviting the cryptozoologists to come up with the evidence instead of complaining that science is rejecting what they have to say,” Sykes told Discovery News. He could not be reached by ABC News.

Sykes said he really doesn’t expect to find solid evidence that Bigfoot exists, but he’s keeping an open mind. He said it would be wonderful to find a species scientists didn’t previously know about — perhaps, as the project puts it, a “collateral hominid.”

Reports of Yetis began with pictures of giant footprints in the snowy Himalayas in the 1950s, and there have been sightings rumored in mountainous regions around the world.

People with evidence of Bigfoot, including hair, skin, or teeth samples, are urged to send a description of their items and photos to the researchers. Sykes and his team will then ask to sample the most promising evidence, and compile a full DNA profile for each of the samples.

“As an academic I have certain reservations about entering this field, but I think using genetic analysis is entirely objective; it can’t be falsified,” Sykes told Discovery News. “So I don’t have to put myself into the position of either believing or disbelieving these creatures.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Oxford Professor Suspected in Colleague's Murder

Thinkstock/Getty Images(LONDON) -- An Oxford mathematician was released on bail Friday after being grilled for 36 hours in the death of his best friend who was another Oxford professor.

Dr. Devinder Sivia was arrested in connection with the death of 50-year old astrophysicist Steven Rawlings, although police have not been able to determine how Rawlings died Wednesday night.

An autopsy was completed on Thursday but coroners were not able to pin down the cause of death.

“This is a tragic incident and our investigations are ongoing to establish the cause of death,” Detective Superintendent Rob Mason said.

Mason emphasized that police are looking into “all potential circumstances that could have led to his (Rawling’s) death.  We are mindful that ultimately the death may be a matter for a coroner’s inquest rather than a criminal court.”

Neighbors called police Wednesday night after hearing Rawlings and his mathematician friend fighting. When they arrived, Rawlings was unconscious. A neighbor tried to revive Rawlings using CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the home.

Neighbors said Rawlings and Sivia were the “best of friends.”  The two had known each other for decades.  They wrote a book together in the late 1990′s called “Foundations of Science Mathematics.”

Police believe the professors had dinner at a pub Wednesday night, but it’s not clear what sparked their late night argument.  Police arrested Sivia Wednesday night.  Police questioned him for 36 hours before releasing him on bail Friday.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio