Microbe Trio Named After Rush Members

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Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are receiving some very tiny honors

By David Sands
November 28, 2017

Geddy Lee and his Rush bandmates are being immortalized  in a most unusual way—by having some microbes named in their honor. Scientists with the University of British Columbia in Canada have decided to name three newly discovered microbes found in the guts of termites,

Pseudotrichonympha species P. leei, P. lifesoni, and P. pearti, after Lee and his musical compatriots Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart.

“A Spanish postdoc, Javier del Campo, asked me to recommend some good Canadian music, and I suggested he listen to Rush,” Patrick Keeling, a University of British Columbia microbiologist and senior author on the paper describing the new species, said in a statement. “He came back to me and said ‘Those microbes we’re finding have long hair like the guys on the album 2112!’”

The “hair” the scientists mention are actually flagella, long threads that help the tiny organisms move around.  According to the university the microbes are also good dancers as they’re known to bob and sway in a rhythmic motion. No word, though, whether any of the newly discovered microbes play bass.

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