Action & Reaction - September 1997

Neanderthal DNA Contest

In the September 4, 1997, issue of the Swap Sheet, we took out the large ad below. We wanted to see if the general public was aware of what a tiny fraction of the DNA was actually analyzed, so we offered a $10 prize to encourage responses.

Neanderthal DNA Contest
Win Cash!
In a study described in the July 11, 1997 issue of Cell, mtDNA was extracted from a Neanderthal bone and compared to modern DNA. Based on this cmoparison, the study concluded that Neanderthals were not our ancestors. What percentage of the modern human mtDNA sequence was compared to the Neanderthal mtDNA sequence in this study?
a. 98%b. 80%c. 60%d. 40%e. 20%f. 2%
How to win: Circle the correct answer above. (Remaining instructions deleted because the contest has already been won by Mary Ladd.)
Grand Prize: A check for $10 that you may spend any way you like! Use it to buy dinner for two at the fast food restaurant of your Choice! Or buy 31 postage stamps! It's up to you!
All entrants will receive a free copy of the September issue of Disclosure, which will contain the correct answer and the name of the lucky Grand Prize Winner.
Contest rules: One entry per household. Entries with the correct answer will be entered in a drawing to be held on 14 September, 1997. Illegible entries, and entries with multiple answers will be disqualified. Odds of winning depend upon the number of correct entries received. If there are no entries with the correct answer, the Grand Prise will not be awarded. All entries become the property of Science Against Evolution. Decision of the judge is final. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Batteries not included. Your mileage may vary. Some settling may occur. If symptoms persist, see your doctor.

We were disappointed that there were only seven responses. That's too small to measure accurately what the general public believes about the Neanderthal DNA study. But, as promised, we will report the results, such as they are.

Two people thought 98% of the DNA was analyzed. One thought 20%. As you already know from reading the Neanderthal DNA Soup essay, only 2% of the DNA was actually analyzed.

Four people gave the correct response. They were Mary Ladd, Julie Daigh, Joe Burge, and Jerry Jouret. Mary Ladd was randomly selected as the $10 winner by a computer.

We wish to thank all who entered.

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