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Parasite named after Bob, Marley family has no problem

BY CANDIESE LEVERIDGE Online reporter leveridgec@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 12:03 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica —Despite widespread public outrage in response to the naming of a newly discovered parasite after reggae icon Bob Marley, members of the Bob Marley Foundation are not perturbed.

“Its not really not that important,” Lisa Wright, coordinator at the Foundation commented after seeing the photos of the blood sucking parasite.

The parasite named Gnathia marleyi attacks fish in the Caribbean.

Dr Paul Sikkel, an American scientist who discovered and named the parasite claimed it was done in honour of Marley.

“I named this species, which is truly a natural wonder, after Marley because of my respect and admiration for Marley’s music. Plus, this species is as uniquely Caribbean as was Marley.”

Sikkel's representative, Abigail Mikel said they had spoken to the late musician's family and they had no problem with Sikkel's controversial decision. 

"While the Marley family chooses not to respond, they do see that Dr Sikkel has named this gnathiid isopod species after Bob Marley because of his life-long love of Marley's music, life, and legacy. 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," she said.

"Sikkel is a huge music lover, and of all his favourite artists, he chose Marley as the name of the research subject he's been working on for a big part of his career,” Mikel added.

However, the scientist may have to rename the bug as a blogger Susan Perkins mentioned in her blog 'Parasite of the day' that he failed to go through the correct procedure.

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