#61 A family reunion

Photo: Mark Harris Illustration: Eva F. Careers

Thijs Ettema, evolutionary biologist from Uppsala University, and the family tree of life.        Photo: Mark Harris                                                                                            Illustration: Eva F. Careers



The winter holiday season is often spent with family. Well, in this episode of RadioScience, we will do just that. Our intern Margarita Bartish has talked to Thijs Ettema, an evolutionary biologist from Uppsala University who did some searching in our family tree to dig up (literally) a tiny cousin we didn’t know we had. A cousin not just to you and me but to your cat and your house plant and in fact to everything you see around you that moves or grows or just has a nucleus in its cells. This cousin has a fascinating story to tell. Not only is he named after a god, but he also has answers about the very origins of life. Answers that can explain how you and me, your cat and your houseplant, came to exist. How our big, loud, diverse and messy family with the surname Eukaryota got started and who our parents could have been. It’s time we invited our cousin to our family reunion and listened to his story.

If you would like to know more Thijs’ research, visit his lab’s website or read the recent paper Thijs’ lab published about Loki and his Asgard siblings.

Music in this episode:

  • Thomas Dolby – She blinded me with science
  • Led Zeppelin – Immigrant song
  • David Bowie – Space oddity
  • Rebellion – Asgard

This episode was produced by RadioScience’s intern Margarita Bartish with financial support from Karolinska Institutets Career Service. Thanks!

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