Monday, June 20, 2005

On A Slide

a study guide

I feel great! My squiggling cells
Are full of tiny organelles
That are swimming in and out of focus
Via microscopic hocus-pocus.
Shaped like grains, ribosomes
Carry RNA. Like rhyming poems,
They make new living tissue
That duplicates the old standard issue.
Ribosomes are found on the sides
Of long, thin tubes from the nuclei
Called endoplasmic reticula,
One of the bigger terms in our curricula.
Then there's mitochondria.
Shaped like rods, or fascia,
They're bundles of fuel, they're mighty mites.
They light the fires, turn on the lights.
Also not spied by the naked eye
Are the dense, dark cellular nuclei,
Where rank and file are told what to do,
There in the little cell's HQ.
Robust ribonucleic acids
Keep our cells from being flaccid.
You could guess this by deduction,
As they power cell reproduction.
In the general cytoplasm
Are vacuoles, sacs of protoplasm,
Rather like big bags of groceries.
Is that a metaphoric gauchery?
In plants, those green globs, chlorophyll,
Perform the subtle miracle
Transforming radiant energy
Into a nutritive chemistry.
Cell walls, called integument,
Hold cells together like rubber cement
In plants. In creatures, membranes
Are flexible skins which can contain
The elements of cell protoplasm,
Both nucleus and cytoplasm.
Oxidative phosphorylation
(For which there's no rhyming correlation)
Will be our study topic Monday.
Be sure to read that chapter Sunday.
Ditto, adenosine triphosphatase,
Which we will discuss for several days.

[other things need to be in your biology lecture spoof,
microvilli, golgi bodies, centripetal invagination
would be good to add, cytoplasmic streaming, and don't
forget the phases of mitosis: from a biologist friend's e-mail.]

cytoplasmic streaming
pinch me, i must be dreaming
microvilli, golgi bodies
get me thinking naughty

centripetal invagination!
it stimulates my imagination
i don't know what it is yet
but it sends me straight to kismet

the various mitosis phases
the 23 diploids doubling
create a magic that amazes
a lively alchemical bubbling


But for mitosis, we might all
Remain about twenty inches tall.
And our aims would need be small.
We could forget about basketball.
Our dog might be a big eight-incher.
He'd be a less than fearsome pinscher.
Our cat, equally a miniature,
Could hide in the cushions of the furniture.
Her mice would be a pain in the ___.
They couldn't be found with a magnifying glass.
Submicroscopic would be their fleas,
Peskier 'cause impossible to see.
Neither the naked nor the aided eye
Could perceive these fleas unfeasible to seize!
(Indeed, to enable such flea-seizures
We would need submicroscopic tweezers.)
Our careers would be in new industries,
Prinicipally nanotechnologies.
These we'd feature in our schools,
Ours the age of molecules.

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