Scientists named a parasite after Barack Obama

September 11, 2016

Scientists all the time are revealing the new kinds of species, often biologists give to the newcomers the names of famous people. This time, scientists named a parasite after Barack Obama, says the publication in the Journal of Parasitology.

Scientists called a new bacteria Baracktrema obamai, it’s a deadly turtle pathogen parasitic worm. It’s not a joke, moreover, it’s a great honor, says Thomas Platt, a turtle disease expert. Even a compliment, since now the name of Obama is in in the science’s annals. These worms “face incredible obstacles to complete their [life cycles] and must contend with the immune system of the host in order to mature and reproduce,” Platt said in a publication.

The new genus and species of parasitic flatworm was introduced this week in an article in the Journal of Parasitology. The tiny creatures, which are the thickness of a human hair, invade the lungs of freshwater turtles in Malaysia, often with deadly consequences. Platt added:

“I have named a number of species after people I admire, from my father-in-law, my PhD adviser, and good friends who are academics and/or amateur naturalists”.