In a tribute to eclectic composer Frank Zappa, scientists have named a bacterium for him. They were reminded of Zappa’s lyric about “sand-blasted zits” in his famous satirical song Jewish Princess when they named a form of P. acnes – the bacterium responsible for human acne – P. acnes type Zappae.
Scientists Andrea Campisano and Omar Rota-Stabelli said in a press release:
This bacteria is so unconventional in its behavior, and its new habitat is so unexpected that we thought of Frank Zappa. Indeed, at the time we were discovering it, we were both playing a Zappa album in our cars.
Thus history is made.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.