Gaga: pop star, activist, egg, fern. Yes, Lady Gaga's bold fashion choices and messages of acceptance have inspired a team at Duke University to name a genus of 19 ferns after the singer. Why? Well, there's a simple answer: the ferns were actually born this way since GAGA appears in this fern's DNA sequence. But these researchers are bigger Gaga fans than that: they have also apparently been studying Gaga's performance-wear. They noticed that the fern in its sexually fluid gametophyte stage looks like Gaga's Armani Prive costume at the 2010 Grammys. (An editor's note at the top of the press release shares as a video of the performance, just in case you forgot.) A bisexual with a penchant for fashion? Sounds like the Gaga we know. Another Gaga connection? In a video from Duke, study leader Kathleen Pryer explained that an unfurling fern looks like Gaga's "claw" hand symbol. Two of the species in the genus are entirely new and have received Gaga-esque species names: germanotta, as in Gaga's real surname, and monstraparva, as in little monster.
We just wouldn't test these scientists with any anti-Gaga rhetoric. Pryer explained in a video that everyone in the lab is a "huge Gaga fan," and waxed about the Born This Way album: "I just found it enormously empowering for the LGBT community, women in science, odd scientists who study weird ferns."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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