De Novo Sequencing is a method for examining proteins (peptides), which in turn can provide information about DNA. The Starchild Project is working with our genetics team to conduct zero cost De Novo Sequencing of the Starchild Skull. Until the testing is completed we won't know how much information this test will yield, but any opportunity to further the research on the Skull is a great step forward.
De Novo Sequencing is based on the use of Mass Spectrometry or MS. In laymans terms, the bone sample is hit with an electric beam or a UV laser to electrically charge the protein fragments within the sample, those charged fragments fly thorough an electric field that helps to separate and identify them, and then a computer uses that information to calculate the protein composition.
The sequence of the protein, from which the fragments have originated, can be pieced together by comparing and aligning the identified overlapping protein fragments. Proteins are often called the "building blocks of life" as they perform essentially all of the functions in living cells. Proteins are encoded in DNA, which is the major information storing component of the genome. The Starchild Project is very interested to see if any of the Starchild's proteins are significantly different from those of humans.
Our research team has been speculating about what might be discovered, and so far we think that collagen may differ from human (and animal) collagens based on the unusual bone properties of the Skull. Because nucleotide sequence of genes and amino acid sequencing of proteins are connected to each other by the genetic code, DNA sequencing and protein sequencing are independent yet complementary methods of addressing the same question – is Starchild an alien or human being?
Only a tiny bone sample is needed for this test, and it has been provided to the lab. There will be a delay now until we can raise some more funds, but as the results unfold we will update this page.