Rush. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
Three new recently discovered microbes have neem named after the Canadian prog-rock group Rush.
According to the University of British Columbia, the researchers have called the new members of the Pseudotrichonympha species P. leei, P. lifesoni, and P. pearti (after Rush members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart). Discovered in the guts of termites, the microbes sport long hair-like flagella and move rhythmically - hence the honorary nicknames.
As the story goes, a Spanish colleague asked University of British Columbia microbiologist Patrick Keeling to recommend some good Canadian music. Of course, Keeling suggested the Hall of Fame inducted prog-rock icons Rush over their much-maligned modern counterparts Nickleback.
The colleague, clearly enjoying the recommendation, exclaimed, "Those microbes we’re finding have long hair like the guys on the album 2112!"
Covered in over 10,000 flagella, the newly-discovered microbes have the appearance of long, flowing hair and "sway their bodies in microscopic dances," according to the study in Scientific Reports. “We have looked at a lot of crazy cells in my lab, and none of us has ever seen anything like this,” Keeling said.
Check out a video of the Rush microbes below!