Blow Your Mind: Mitochondrial Eve

"These apples are DOPE."
"These apples are DOPE."
David Sacks/ImageBank/Getty

There's something awe-inspiring about the prospect of a primordial mother figure, a lone women that all human lineages trace back to.

Far from a mere mythological tale, however, scientists actually discovered such a woman - and her ghost resides in the genetics of every human being alive today. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Julie and I get to know Mitochondrial Eve.

Plus we'll run through a few examples of primordial mothers and discuss how unifying the notion really is. There's a lot of crossover between this episode and "The Skin We Live In," so be sure to give them both a listen.

So there you have it! You can find the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast on iTunes, Zune and the RSS feed. And don't forget the free HowStuffWorks App!

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About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.