Nobel Peace Prize, Move Over: Meet baracktrema obamai, the two-inch-long, hair-thin flatworm. it’s a type of blood fluke that infects the lungs of black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia.
President Obama, Commander in Chief and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, can add another honor to his resume: namesake of a new species.
Granted, the species is a parasitic flatworm. But in the scientific community, the act is considered *coughcough* an honor all the same.
“I have named a number of species after people I admire,” Thomas Platt, the parasitologist who discovered and collected the new species, said, with a straight face.
[Baracktrema obamai, a new genus and species of parasitic flatworm, was named in honor of President Obama. Image by Roberts et al., 2016, The Journal of Parasitology.]
The move is meant to be a permanent tribute, he said. “Baracktrema obamai will endure as long as there are systematists studying these remarkable organisms.”
Platt and three other American researchers proposed Baracktrema obamai as both a new genus and species in The Journal of Parasitology. The two-inch-long, hair-thin flatworm — a type of blood fluke — infects the lungs of black marsh turtle and southeast Asian box turtles in Malaysia. The team used genetic testing and morphological analysis of the worm’s body and genitalia to determine the new species. Their proposal marks the first new genus of turtle blood fluke in 21 years.
The find was the last that Platt — a turtle parasite expert — named before retiring from Saint Mary’s College. Platt named 32 species during his tenure and was inspired to name Baracktrema obamaiafter discovering that he and the president share a common ancestor, he said. Read the rest of this entry »
Honeymoon Murder Suspect Dewani Not Looking Forward to His Appearance in Western Cape South African High CourtPosted: May 10, 2014
Extradited British millionaire businessman Shrien Dewani is due in court in South Africa Monday on charges of ordering his Swedish wife’s murder during their 2010 honeymoon in Cape Town.
After losing a three-year extradition fight in Britain, Dewani, 34, was remanded in custody at a psychiatric hospital when he arrived in South Africa last month.
“Dewani has been accused of orchestrating the murder of his wife. He allegedly ordered local men to carry out a hit on his wife and make it look like a fatal carjacking incident.”
He will appear at the Western Cape high court for a pre-trial hearing, at which the judge will assess the readiness of the prosecution and defence teams to start the trial.
“A substantial amount of money was paid for the hit.”
Dewani, who returned to Britain shortly after his wife’s murder, had fought his extradition, claiming he had mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress. He has been undergoing tests at the Valkenberg hospital in Cape Town to see if he is fit to stand trial. If he is not found fit to face court within 18 months, he will be returned to Britain under the terms of his extradition.
On his arrival in South Africa Dewani was formally charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating justice by the country’s elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks. Read the rest of this entry »