Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Off Topic: 19 Species of Fern Named for Lady Gaga
This is both hilarious and kind of awesome at the same time, so I had to share! As a big fan myself, I love that Duke scientists also love Lady Gaga. Normally naming a plant after a person this way doesn't follow the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature, but technically they got around it by naming it after the gene sequence. "The name Gaga also echoes one of the molecular synapomorphies that characterizes the genus. At nucleotide positions 598–601 in the matK gene alignment, all Gaga species have “GAGA” (Fig. 6), a sequence pattern not seen at this site in any other cheilanthoid fern sampled," from the paper, for anyone interested: Gaga, a New Fern Genus Segregated from Cheilanthes (Pteridaceae)
From the article from the Duke website if you still don't believe me: 19 Species of Fern Named for Lady Gaga, "Two of the species in the Gaga genus are new to science: Gaga germanotta from Costa Rica is named to honor the family of the artist, who was born Stefani Germanotta. And a newly discovered Mexican species is being dubbed Gaga monstraparva (literally monster-little) in honor of Gaga's fans, whom she calls, 'little monsters'."