How cats took over the world

A Nature video to accompany Ottoni et al., 2017 in Nature Ecology & Evolution

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Years before they conquered the Internet, cats colonized our sofas. But they haven’t spent the last ten thousand years just snoozing. A new study reveals that tamed cats swept through Eurasia and Africa carried by early farmers, ancient mariners and even Vikings. The researchers analysed DNA from over 200 cat remains and found that farmers in the Near East were probably the first people to successfully tame wild cats.


This Nature video accompanies Ottoni et al., 2017 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

A Behind the Paper post from the authors is also available here: http://go.nature.com/2sJnK2d

Ben Johnson

Magazine Editor, Nature Medicine, Springer Nature

I trained as a virologist, starting with an undergraduate degree in virology from the University of Warwick, UK. My PhD, in influenza virus genetics and immunoevasion, was from Public Health England and the University of Reading, UK, with Maria Zambon and Wendy Barclay. My research interests then moved to smallpox vaccines, viral ion channels and cell adhesion, while a postdoc at Imperial College London with Geoffrey Smith, FRS. I then joined open-access publisher BioMed Central in 2011 as an editor and then associate publisher and was Head of Communities & Engagement at Springer Nature from 2016, running the Nature Research Communities and other online engagement activities for researchers. I joined Nature Medicine in 2021, with responsibility for news and opinion content, and am based in the London office.