Tag Archives: kathleen pryer

Lady Gaga Gets A Gender-Bending Fern Species Named After Her

Gaga's Body Revolution
Gaga starts an important conversation about body image. Read More »
Ice Age Flower
Scientists resurrect a 30,000-year-old plant. Read More »
NASA's Mohawk Guy
He's hot. He's brilliant. We're in love. Read More »

When Dr. Kathleen Pryer and her team at Duke University’s herbarium discovered a new species of fern that produces spores that grow into male, female, or bisexual plants, their minds turned to–who else?–Lady Gaga. “We wanted to name this genus for Lady Gaga because of her fervent defense of equality and individual expression,” said Pryer. “And as we started to consider it, the ferns themselves gave us more reasons why it was a good choice.” One of those reasons was in the plant’s genetic code: when a graduate student discovered the sequence “GAGA” in the fern’s base pairs, it seemed only obvious that the plants would be named “Gaga germanotta” (Gaga’s real name is Stefani Germanotta) and “Gaga monstraparva” (translation: “Little monster”). “‘Born this Way’ is enormously empowering,” adds Dr. Pryer, “especially for disenfranchised people and communities like LGBT, ethnic groups, women — and scientists who study odd ferns!”

I’d just like to say that my new life goal is to have a “Born This Way” dance party at the Duke herbarium. Botanists know how to party. [Rolling Stone]

  • Zergnet: Simply Irresistible

  • HowAboutWe

  • Popular