Chile and Its Scientists Protest Research on Tiny MummyBreaking News
tags: Science, mummy, Chile
Days after researchers announced that a tiny mummy once rumored to be an alien was actually a human infant, Chilean scientists condemned the new study as unethical and their government began an investigation into grave robbing.
The Chilean National Monuments Council, a government agency, said in an email Tuesday that it had initiated an inquiry into whether the little girl’s remains were illegally exhumed in 2003 and smuggled out of the country. The council has turned over its records to the Public Ministry of Chile in response to the outcry from Chilean researchers. They contended that the grave site was plundered and the mummified skeleton was stolen, violating the country’s laws.
“It’s offensive for the girl, for her family, and for the heritage of Chile,” said Francisca Santana-Sagredo, a biological anthropologist at the University of Antofagasta and the University of Oxford.
In a telephone interview, two authors of the new study, Dr. Garry P. Nolan, an immunologist at Stanford University, and Atul Butte of the University of California, San Francisco, defended the ethics of their research.
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