Genetics professor investigates the Yeti

Bryan Sykes, professor of genetics at Oxford University, is to investigate whether there are genetic traces of species including the Yeti.

Mark Booth, publisher of Hodder & Stoughton’s Coronet imprint, has acquired world rights excluding America in the provisionally titled The Quest for the Yeti, A DNA Detective Story from agent Luigi Bonomi.

The Quest for the Yeti will describe Sykes' hunt for genetic traces of species whose existence remains scientifically unconfirmed, including the Yeti, the Sasquatch and Big Foot. For the most part the samples he has tracked down for analysis have turned out to be known species such as humans, bears or apes; however two samples taken towards the end of his quest will "change our understanding of human history," he says.

Previous books by Sykes include The Seven Daughters of Eve, which explored how we can track our genetic ancestors through time via a gene passed through the maternal line and was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.

Bonomi said: "Professor Sykes is a world authority on genetics and what he has to say about Yetis will shock the world". Meanwhile Booth opined: "An author who is both world-leader in his subject, and can also tell a good story, is as rare as the Yeti".