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Bizarre Tributes: Nine Celebs and the Species Named for Them

By Michele Berger
Published: February 24, 2014

Frank Zappa Bacterium

A new bacteria, called Propionibacterium acnes, is named for Frank Zappa. (Evening Standard/Getty Images)

Talk about an odd tribute. Italian researchers recently named a bacterium after Frank Zappa.

It might sound cool, but the microscopic life form actually causes acne in humans and it’s now jumped to plants, afflicting grapevines with angst — though probably not as much as a tormented teenager. It colonizes the bark tissue and the pith of grape plants.

“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,” authors Andrea Campisano and Omar Rota-Stabelli, said in a news release.

Zappa isn’t the only celeb to be remembered this way. Here we take a look at eight others that have had scientific discoveries named for them.

NEXT: Beyonce’s Namesake


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