If you have acne, drink the occasional glass of wine, are a fan of musician Frank Zappa, or just like weird science, here's some news you will find intriguing: Italian researchers have discovered a new bacteria that colonized pimples and now colonizes grapevines. They named it after Frank Zappa.
The microbe, P. Zappae, was discovered at different vineyard sites in Northern Italy. When the transformation history was studied using marker genes, it was discovered the pathogen originated in humans and then spread to the grapevines--the first time a human bacteria is known to have spread to plants.
Researchers believe grape farmers transferred the pathogen to the plants some 7,000 years ago. Since then the pathogen has become completely a plant pathogen and cannot transfer back to humans.
This will open up a whole new field of study and may eventually lead to a cure for acne. In the meantime, there are successful acne treatments but no real cures.
Why was the new bacteria named after the late Italian-American musician Frank Zappa? Zappa means hoe in Italian, which ties in with a tool used by humans to cultivate a domesticated plant. However, it turns out the the researchers were listening to a song written by Zappa during the investigation with a line about "sand-blasted zits." In addition, the new strain is considered "unconventional" like Zappa. Voila! The new grape vine pathogen with ties to acne was named P. Zappae.
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