Parasite That Infects Turtles In Malaysia Named After President Obama

By Jiran , Sep 09, 2016 04:05 AM EDT

With President Barack Obama's term about to end, he might appreciate the fact that a parasite is named after him. Apparently, the researcher who has chosen that name considers it as an honor.

What Is Baracktrema Obamai?

American Parasitologists Jackson R. Roberts, Thomas R. Platt, Raphael Orélis-Ribeiro and Stephen A. Bullard have discovered a new species of parasitic flatworm. They named it Baracktrema Obamai in honor of US President Barack Obama. The said parasite infects turtles in Malaysia. It is about 2-inch in size and lives in turtle's blood, according to the Washington Post.

Baracktrema Obamai, like any other parasites, feed of the nutrient of its host. They often have a bad reputation to people according to Platt. He considers this parasite as a phenomenally incredibly resilient organism. 

Editor Michael Sukhedo of the Journal of Parasitology and Rutgers biologist added that they are actually cool and crucial to life. Apparently, 7 out of 10 animals on Earth are considered parasites.

According to PRWeb, this parasite is a distantly related to the parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis. This human disease affects millions of people in developing countries.

The Parasite Is Named After Obama

Platt that the physical characteristics of the parasite remind him of President Obama. He said that it's long, thin and cool as hell. It turns out that he is used to naming new species after people that he has a great deal of respect for.

Out of the 30 new species that he has discovered, he named two of them after his father-in-law and his doctorate adviser. Naming the parasite after Obama is only a small way for Flatt to honor him.

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