Parasite named for Barack Obama: That’s a compliment, right?

When Thomas Platt, a newly retired biology professor from Saint Mary’s College, discovered a previously unknown species of parasite, he chose to name it after his fifth cousin, twice removed: President Obama.

Baracktrema obamai is a 2-inch long, thread-like, parasitic flatworm that infects the lungs of two species of freshwater turtles in Southeast Asia. The flatworm represents the discovery of not only a new species, but a new genus – the level of biological classification above species. 

It’s a compliment, says Dr. Platt. READ MORE.