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Posted: Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 11:43 AM HST

Hawaii House votes on state microbe

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii lawmakers are considering adding a microbe to the state's list of official symbols.

The state House plans to vote on the proposal Tuesday.

University of Hawaii professor Stuart Donachie says Hawaii could be the first state in the nation to adopt an official microbe.

Donachie helped discover the proposed microbe along with several other scientists and a student from Iolani High School.

The microscopic organism in question is found on a Hawaiian shrub called akia.

Advocates say an official state microbe will promote scientific research in the islands and celebrate the uniqueness of Hawaii.

Hawaii already has several state symbols, including a motto, a flag and a song.

The House committee on culture approved the bill last week. The bill will go to the Senate if passed.

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