Field of Science

My Name is LUCA

All workers on bacterial evolution dream that someday they may find LUCA. LUCA is the euphonious acronym for the Last Universal Common Ancestor, the theoretical organism or proto-organism from which all the living things we see around us today are descended. In a comment on an earlier post, though, I admitted to never being able to use the name LUCA without the tune to a certain 1987 Suzanne Vega hit running through my head*. Howard A. Landman agreed with me, and actually took it a little further. Without further ado, here are the lyrics he has penned for "My Name is LUCA":

My name is LUCA,
I lived on the ocean floor
near some hydrothermal vent
or maybe in a tidepool by the shore.
And everything that's now alive
is my descendant that survived.
All the others went away (x3)

I'm not the first life. No,
that was way before my time.
Things were so much simpler then,
the start of evolution's climb.
Born in a world of RNA,
or some say protein, some say clay.
No one knows just what it was (x3)

Now if you feel inclined
to explore your family tree,
you're gonna have a real hard time
tracing your way back down to me
'cause horizontal gene transfer
has left the path a tangled blur.
Still, it wouldn't hurt to try (x3)

(repeat first verse)

*The other option would be to channel the gnat from Alice Through the Looking-Glass and suggest a joke be made about "LUCA" and "lucre" - maybe "we all have one if not the other"?


  1. Oh dear, you know what this means... (tunes guitar)

    p.s.-still waiting for your Parapseudoleptomesochra almoravidensis
    post (thank FSM for copy and paste)

  2. Well, it's Howard's composition, so you'll have to ask him if you want to record it (though it looks like Zach may be begging you not to...)

    Oops, forgotten about that. It's been a hectic few weeks.

  3. No no, I want to hear that song.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS