Newly discovered parasite named after Obama

  • Scientists officially name a parasitic worm after U.S. President Barrack Obama
  • The parasite measures 5 cm long, a thin and flat worm found thriving in the blood stream of turtles
  • Parasitologist Platt said that he has discovered more than 30 species and were named after the people who made an impact on his career and who carries a great reputation

 

Scientists officially name a parasitic worm after the 44th U.S. President Barrack Obama.

Parasitologist Thomas Platt, who recently retired from Saint Mary’s College as a Biology professor, named a parasite after the President Obama; calling it as Baracktrema obamai.

The parasite measures 5 cm long and it is a thin and flat worm found thriving in the blood stream of turtles.

According to the study published in the Journal of Parasitology on August 2016, this parasite gets nourished and multiplies in the blood vessels of turtles’ lungs. Though it does not affect the life of the turtles, it does, however, cost human life resulting from the deadly diseases, created when the parasite penetrates human blood vessels. B. obamai had been found to be related to flatworms causing Schistosomiasis that contaminate bodies of fresh water.

According to the World Health Organization, Schistosomiasis are commonly carried by snails and transmits the disease in fresh water where they naturally habituate; mostly affecting the underprivileged and rural communities where clean and safe drinking water is the major problem.

It is not only about the discovery of this parasite that makes it phenomenal but also the revelation that Platt is a distant relative of the U.S. President. After learning that they were distantly blood-related, it gave the scientist the idea of naming the parasite after Obama.

To classify newly discovered specie after your name is said to be an honor; a privilege. In a way, the person’s name used in the taxonomy and the scientist who discovered the specie could be remembered through time. Taking the positive attributes of the parasite, Platt said that its resilience and ability to thrive in an unfavorable environment represents the character of the U.S. President.

“It’s long. It’s thin. And it’s cool as hell,” Platt said as per an Inquirer story; describing the parasite that reminded him of President Obama. The scientist insistently stated that this is not meant to insult the President but to show respect and honor to his distant relative who is actually the president of a powerful nation.

Before ending his career, he said that he has already discovered more than 30 species and some were named after the people who made an impact in his studies and those of whom carries a great reputation including the U.S. President.

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