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Parasite meant to honour Bob Marley and his music, says scientist

Friday, July 13, 2012    

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SCIENTIST Dr Paul Sikkel named the parasite that feeds on fish the Gnathia marleyi in honour of the Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley because of his life-long love of his music, life and legacy, his publicist said yesterday.

"Dr Sikkel is a huge music lover and of all his favourite artistes he chose Marley as the name of the research subject he has been working on for a big part of his career," said publicist Abby Malik, in response to questions from the Jamaica Observer.

"It's common for scientists to incorporate their non-science interests into their work, and naming a new species after a favorite musician is a popular and fun tribute," Malik added.

The publicist, at the same time, urged that persons should not let the word "parasite" steer you in the wrong direction as "these organisms are vital in the life cycle of reefs and coral reef organisms. The role they play is just as important as organisms with more pleasant-sounding names."

Some Jamaican reggae fans on Wednesday expressed outrage at the naming of the parasite after the Jamaican legend, but the Bob Marley Foundation downplayed suggestions that it was disrespectful to the Jamaican legend.

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