Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:4. biology

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From: George Mayhew <mayhew#NoSpam.midgaard.genetics.wisc.edu> http://www.genetics.wisc.edu/staff/mayhew/
One truth in life is the need to laugh at difficult situations.  Humour can
make a difficult task more enjoyable.  I think that this group
( news:bionet.genome.autosequencing ) is uniquely suited to understand the
repetitious nature of high throughput sequencing.  So I'm passing along a
piece of humour constructed by one of our lab technicians.  Feel free to
pass it along to your technicians or anyone else who might appreciate the
inside humour.

(with sincere apologies to the musical group Chumbawumba)


        (to the tune of "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba)

I take gels down, and put 'em up again,
        and I run 'em for another round.
I take gels down, and put 'em up again,
        and I run 'em for another round.

Sequencing DNA, sequencing DNA.

We wash the plates again, we pour the gels again,
        we wash the gels again, we flip the combs again,

Then we retrack and extract all the gel files,
        then we analyze and dump all the sample files.

No life for me, life for me, life for meeee....

I take gels down, and put 'em up again,
        and I run 'em for another round.
I take gels down, and put 'em up again,
        and I run 'em for another round.

Adapted by:
Guy Peyrot
E.coli Genome Center

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From: "John F. Reynolds" <reynolds#NoSpam.informix.com>
This poem was a favorite of Walter Hempfling, Microbiology professor at the
University of Rochester, and one of the finest teachers I ever had.  I
don't know his source.

Two cells of E. coli were wandering slowly
Down the gastrointestinal tract.
An F+ was he, an F- was she,
And their membranes were bound to attract.

Now the dainty F- was born in a sinus
Where her members did seldom trespass,
But the brawnt F+ was spawned in some pus,
And produced both acid and gas.

A kiss he had stolen, down deep in the colon;
"Don't touch me", she said, "or I'll scream!
I have no protection, and an F+ infection
Would spoil my maidenly dream."

So the poor lonely fella withdrew his flagella
And worshipped her from afar;
"At least", he said, "wait, till I can mutate
And come back an HFR."

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From: "post.flinders.edu.au" <ogbk#NoSpam.flinders.edu.au>
                           The Sequencers Lament

To the tune of "Send in the Clowns"

So this is it,
A few bases to go,
I've tried and I've tried but the techniques's so slow.
I've poured my gels,
I've run quite a few.
Full of bubbles, they leaked and why I never knew.
But where are the clones?
I've got to have clones,
The end is so near.

Is my broth rich?
Does it look clear?
Contamination is something I always fear.
Are my plaques blue?
They shouldnt be,
No DNA left I'm down on my knees,
So give me some clones?
I've got to have clones,
The end is so near.

I've had bad preps,
There've been quite a few,
Ive tried all brands of PEG, fresh buffers, but nothing would do.
And though they say,
Solutions will keep,
In my hands they last no more than a week.
So send me some clones?
I've got to have clones,
The end is so near.

I've read my gels,
My eyes are quite sore,
There's still sequence missing, of this I am sure.
But there it is!!
Finally done.
I've conquered this fragment and now I have won.
Whats's this I hear?
A voice from the door.
My supervisor wants 10kb more!
So give me some clones,
I've got to have clones,
Or I'll be here all year!

Bill Kalionis

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From: "rusty" <rustysmith#NoSpam.cyber-wizard.com>
A biologist of world renown
says a chromosome's gender is found
by being so bold
as to take a good hold
of it's genes...and then pull them down.

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July 5
                              ODE TO A CLONE
By John Scalzi (wwwscalzi#NoSpam.aol.com)

(This originally appeared in America Online's "Howdy"
area on March 6th.)

Oh clone, my clone, how can you bear it
To exist knowing you have only one parent?
No zygote you, when haploid cells met
You were produced with a full chromosome set.
And now I can see that you are confused
To discover your genes have arrived slightly used.
To answer your questions is the aim of this poem
You who are like me, my clone, oh my clone.

You were not produced from between sweaty sheets
In fact, you arose from cells scraped off of my cheek.
Your genes gently placed in an egg we provided
And then shocked with a current until they divided.
You sat there a while till it was time to fish
That thing that was you from that petri dish.
(And though it may seem churlish at this time to mention,
we suspect that the dish had post-partum depression).

Oh clone, my clone, don't feel angst or feel grief
Because the genes that you have are not bought but are leased.
You have no mother, but that's no impediment
Indeed, you've bypassed the whole Complex of Oedipus.
To your one parent you can always relate
To do otherwise is a form of self hate.
Who can tell us apart when we answer the phone?
No one at all, my clone, oh my clone.

Think of all the experiences we'll have!
(That is, once they allow you to go from the lab).
I'll take you to places that I've already been
So you can see them once more for the first time again.
Let's go to work, where I think we will find
That we'll get twice as much done in just half the time.
And should we play tennis, our opponents have troubles
As they must play singles, but we shall play doubles.

Oh clone, my clone, I see you are vexed
By ethical issues admittedly complex.
If you are my clone, are you wed to my wife?
And would having two husbands cause marital strife?
Suppose that we clone her? Then what would that be?
Bigamy, polygamy, or polyandry?
Oh, the guilt I would have would go to the bone
If I accidentally slept with your wife, oh my clone.

Perhaps it would be better if we lived all our days
Away from each other -- and go separate ways.
I would stay here and live with my mate
And you would take yours to some other state
Perhaps to Alaska, with Northern Lights blue
To live off the land, in a hut or igloo.
And with a deep sense of pride all my friends would be shown
Many pictures of your house, a Nome clone dome home.

Oh clone, my clone, you impressive feat
The one person born with no help from gametes.
When you have troubles getting yourself to sleep
Do you think on your compatriot, Dolly the sheep?
It's true that we both share our genetic information
But I know that your mind performs its own peregrinations.
In the end I am me, and you are just you alone
You are your own person, my clone, oh my clone.

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Keith Bostic <bostic#NoSpam.bostic.com>

Mary had a little lamb,
   then two and three and four.
And each a perfect replica
   of all that went before.
The followed her to school one day
   which was against the rule.
It made the children laugh and play
   to see her flock at school.
The teacher turned the woolies out
   to wait the bell at four.
But when the children tried to leave
   more sheep had jammed the door.
"What makes those lambs love Mary so?"
   The eager children fish.
Says teacher, dialing 9-1-1:
   "She's got the Petri dish."

Toronto Sun

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July 5
From: "Norma van der Plaas" <NorMa#NoSpam.optusnetXCAPS.com.au>

Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was slightly grey,
It didn't have a father,
Just some borrowed DNA.

It sort of had a mother,
Though the ovum was on loan,
It was not so much a lambkin,
As a little lamby clone.

And soon it had a fellow clone,
And soon it had some more,
They followed her to school one day,
All cramming through the door.

 It made the children laugh and sing,
The teachers found it droll,
There were too many lamby clones,
For Mary to control.

 No other could control the sheep,
 Since their programs didn't vary,
 So the scientists resolved it all,
 By simply cloning Mary.

 But now they feel quite sheepish,
Those scientists unwary,
 One problem solved, but what to do,
 With Mary, Mary, Mary...
~ unk

Norma van der Plaas B.Bs (Hons) Univ.of H.K.

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From: Randy Willis <willis#NoSpam.gandalf.psf.sickkids.on.ca>
(from news:bionet.microbiology --by someone signing as Yersinia)
December 25
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes
(1) A Mad Scientist Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all thru my house,
Not a specimen was stirring, not even a louse.
The test tubes were capped and the rat cages closed,
The mold cultures fuzzy, the mice in repose.
The oven kept warm the ebola and pox,
I still need to locate my husband's clean socks...
But that has to wait till tomorrow, I know;
My buggies still need that much more time to grow.

When from the kitchen came a massive explosion,
I leapt from my bed in perpetual motion.
Grabbing my lab coat I pulled on my pants,
Struggling into them a sick sort of dance.
With fury and haste I put on a shirt,
Running out of the bedroom on feet black with dirt.
Buttoning my lab coat and donning a mask,
I ran into the kitchen holding an Erlenmeyer flask.

I nearly passed out when the man who I saw,
dressed in containment gear sealed without flaw,
Held high a huge sack with his arm stiff and straight,
I could tell he must have a hard time with his weight.
Through the mike from his suit he said without pause,
"Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas, I'm Hanta Claus!"
Over his shoulder he hefted the sack,
We walked into the living room, I offered a snack.
He took it and smiled, placed the sack by my bench,
Instantly I noticed the Clostridium stench.
Brimming with joy, I cried out with glee,
"Did you bring all of these germies for me?"
"Oh yes," said Hanta, "I must show propriety;
By bringing you microbes, I'm saving society.
"You are the only one who loves these diseases.
Therefore I'm glad to oblige who it pleases."

Delirious with excitement I sat by his side
While he gave me a year's stock of microscope slides,
And pasteur pipettes, drug resistant bacteria,
Such as staph, strep and cultures from the genus Neisseria.

The gleam in my eyes caused the house to be lit,
The moment he gave me a gram-staining kit,
Clostridium tetani, perfringens and sporogenes,
Salmonella typhi and Streptococcus pyogenes!
Plus viruses known to produce hepatitis,
Herpes, and rabies, yellow fever and meningitis!
But that was not all, he had parasites too,
Plasmodia, trypanosomes and schistosomes true!
Tapeworms and roundworms, plague-carrying fleas.
How sincerely generous, Hanta did aim to please!

At long last he said he must now go away,
His sled was experiencing radioactive decay.
"Thanks for the presents," I said, shaking his hand,
"They'll keep me off the streets, you understand."

Hanta Claus smiled and bid me goodnight,
Shouting "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good blight!"
(2) Hark! The Streptococcus Brings
 (Melody: "Hark! The Herald = Angels Sing")

Hark! the Streptococcus brings
Strep sore throat to all who sing,
Chloraseptic doesn't cure it
Other people's sneezing lures it.
If the strep bug has a virus
Scarlet fever then arises,
Cross reaction with the heart
Causes it to come apart,
Hark! the Streptococcus totes,
Toxin and fire to all it smotes.

Pneumonia makes you cough and wheeze,
Mucus fills the lungs with sleaze
A viscous greenish oozing cloak,
That causes you to gasp and choke
Without water you can drown
If you breathe the strep germ down
Hark! The Streptococcus breeds
The misery of a bad disease

Of fecal strep in food beware,
Methane gas befouls the air,
Speedily you drop your pants
As if they held live fire ants
On the toilet you are dying
Bent in pain, guts liquefying
Hail! the Streptococcus means
Glory to those who would be lean
(3) O Humid Night (Melody: "O Holy Night")

O Humid Night
Anopheline mosquitoes
Are circling you in the hope of a meal.
She takes a bite, saliva from her mouthparts
Drool parasites which you can't see or feel

Your brain can get sick,
You will have a coma
After the rage and the headaches have passed
You're veggie soup, home to protozoa,
Mosquito lands, time to go home at last..

Fall on your knees,
Pale, burning with fever
Are in your blood, were in your spleen
There's no real cure, just in your dreams...
(4) Away in a Test Tube (Melody: "Away in a Manger")

Away in a test tube
My plague cultures grow
On nutrient agar
Mankind's greatest foe

It's easy to grow them
If one does it right
At thirty-five Celsius
All day and all night

Once they are ready
You can let them go
To sicken the masses
With pus-filled buboes.

"Van der waals with boughs of holly..."

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From: awillis#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com (al willis)
      Orig.  Al Willis

This Salk by the name of Jonas
Promised wealth and a title and bonus
   To these monkeys called Rhesus
   Who agreed, "You can lease us,"
But don't come on strong like you own us."

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From: Adrian Thompson <service#NoSpam.personal-abc.com>

     My Cold

You became part of me,   
just when, I'm not quite sure.   
Most Likely in the subway,   
where the air is not so pure.   

Borne by airborne droplets,   
sprayed out by some sneeze,   
from some afflicted victim,   
then carried by the breeze.   

First my throat was sore.   
Now my nose is streaming.   
Viri in my head and chest,   
Their numbers must be teeming.   

It seems unthinkable   
that such a tiny sphere   
300 Angstroms wide   
has left me lying here.   

But, I know this is an old war   
my body's fought before.   
Little does this virus know   
what there is in store.

In my spleen the leucocytes   
issued with their warrant,   
spill out into my blood   
and are carried by the torrent.   

Into all capillaries   
and annexes they stray,   
seeking virus O-1-4   
until they find their prey.   

"Feed a cold" someone said.   
I ate and drank my fill.   
Knowing that more leucocytes   
would go in for the kill.   

Now I am much better.   
My head is feeling clear.   
A day in bed to sweat it out   
has brought the end quite near.   

Here is the epilogue:   
Just when I thought I'd won,   
I looked up at Fabienne   
and knew I'd passed it on! 
  ऊ Adrian Thompson 1996-1999

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From: awillis#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com (al willis)
      Orig.  Al Willis

From bionet.general Thu Apr 27 10:06:46 1995
The transplant had finally started.
The incision was carefully charted.
  The dog was just sliced,
  And the chicken was spliced,
And the dog is now chicken-hearted.

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From: awillis#NoSpam.ix.netcom.com (al willis)

Sal is feared by all of us,
But he's a decent fella.
His label is a handicap:
His name is Sal Monella. -- Al Willis

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From: Ibelgaufts#NoSpam.vms.biochem.mpg.de (H Ibelgaufts)

Bacterial Genetics

When studying bacterial mating
Lederberg found it frustrating
to make things look nice
and do everything twice
he invented replica plating

Reassociation kinetics:

A scientist studying Cot
and to him it meant rather a lot
the lines that he plotted
were very much dotted
but the referee thought it was Rot

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From: mazda#NoSpam.basic2.kpu-m.ac.jp (Osam Mazda)

A Scientist thought of a theory on lymphocyte
after drinking overnight
The theory became complicated more and more
until finally nobody understood it any more
And the reality was not also in his sight

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From: peterk#NoSpam.sci.kun.nl (Peter Klaren)

A couple of years ago I bought The Biochemist's Songbook. It's great! It's
got all major biological pathways described and set to the tune of
popular (folk) songs.

Allright, I'll give an example....

*** Protein Synthesis *** (tune: My Bonnie Is Over The Ocean )

The primary sequence of proteins
Is coded within DNA
On the sense strand of the double helix
coiled antiparallel way

Intron and exons
changes are posttranscriptional, and all
Don't alter such basics at all

(... and so on for about 15 stanzas. The synthesis of proteins from DNA is a
complex pathway....)

One of my favourites:

*** The Michaelis Anthem *** (tune: The Red Flag)

The substrate changed by an enzyme
Initially, in unit time
Varies, if not in excess
With substrate concentration, [S]
If enzyme concentration's low
And reaction back from product's slow
Then if we choose a steady state
Velocity and [S] relate.

This relationship can be derived
As Briggs and Haldane first contrived:
The unbound enzyme, [E], we guess
Is [E0] (total), less [ES]
k1[S][E] gives [ES] formation
and k2[ES], dissociation
And [ES] gives the product, P,
At a rate that's [ES] times k3

When [ES] is at the steady state
These terms are all seen to relate
([E0] less [ES]) times k1[S]
Equals (k2 + k3) times [ES]
Now the maximum velocity
is k3[E0], (or big V)
These terms can be manipulated
If one more definition's stated

Define as Km (just for fun)
(k2 + k3) on k1
And note that v (velocity)
Is always [ES] times k3
Then rearranging these equations
We get the final rate equation
V times [S] on Km + [S]
is v (initial) - more or less

OK, one more taster....

*** The Respiratory Chain *** (tune: Battle Hymn of The Republic)

My eyes have seen the glory of respiratory chain
In every mitochondrium intrinsic to membranes
Functionally organised in complex sub-domaines
Where electron flow along

Glory, glory respiration
Glory, glory respiration
Glory, glory respiration
Where electrons flow along

(etc., etc.)

One more?......

*** Photosynthesis *** (tune: Auld Lang Syne)

When sunlight bathes the chloroplast, and photons are absorbed
The energy's transduced so fast that food is quickly stored,
Photosynthetic greenery traps light the spectrum through
Then dark pathway machinery fixes the CO2.

Two chlorophylls (a, b to you) are cleverly deployed
In photosystems I and II, within the thylakoid
System I takes energy, at 700 (red)
While system II (with pigment b) takes 680 instead.

..... and then on and on for 7 stanzas....

Here's the reference:

Harold Baum (1982). The Biochemists' Songbook. Pergamon Press, Oxford,
New York. (ISBN 0-08-027370-X)

One more?......

*** Photosynthesis *** (tune: Auld Lang Syne)

When sunlight bathes the chloroplast, and photons are absorbed
The energy's transduced so fast that food is quickly stored,
Photosynthetic greenery traps light the spectrum through
Then dark pathway machinery fixes the CO2.

Two chlorophylls (a, b to you) are cleverly deployed
In photosystems I and II, within the thylakoid
System I takes energy, at 700 (red)
While system II (with pigment b) takes 680 instead.

..... and then on and on for 7 stanzas....

Harold Baum (the author) suggests that one should carefully study rhythm
and pronounciation, before attempting public performance. And if one
complains that the lyrics are difficult, Baum simply disclaims; HE didn't
device the pathways!

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From: ez005881#NoSpam.dale.ucdavis.edu (Noel Fong)

There was once a cloner named Hector,
who had problems in his private sector,
his wife was depressed,
'cos his genes weren't experessed,
for lack of a functioning vector!

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From: mini-AIR
A biology prof name of Caster
Had a project she knew would outlast her,
For it was most complex,
Aimed at changing the sex
Of drosophila melanogaster.
        --Don Homuth

Finally, a try at Don Homuth's effort might give, allowing
(illegally)an extra unaccented syllable at the end:

A biology prof name of Cast-
er who's project she wanted to last
Took an idea complex
Aimed at changing the sex
Of drisophila melanogaster.
                        -- Jay M. Pasachoff

[Based on a TRUE event that occurred in 1965, when I was a lab assistant at
North Dakota State University:]
The zoology coed did squirm
At the lab quiz that ended the term.
When asked "What are tadpoles?",
(In the specimen bowls),
She wrote down "They are elephant sperm."
     --David Hormuth

A research professor (Renee),
Cloned people from ape DNA.
The project went well,
Anyone can tell,
'Cause they're members of congress today.
     --Frank Weisel  Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD

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September 25
Februari 8
From: Hugh Baker <drhugh#NoSpam.idirect.com>
What I Learned in Food Micro

Bacteria have these flagella
That spin like a little propella.
They'll swim for a while
Up a river of bile
To your liver, which makes you turn yella.


Nasty little protozoa
Living in my lower bowel
Make my gut like Krakatoa
Paper's no good: use a towel!

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From: neve#NoSpam.up.univ-mrs.fr (Gabriel NEVE)

Behold the mighty dinosaur,
Famous in prehistoric lore,
Not only for his power and strength,
But for his intellectual length.
You will observe from these remains
The creature had two sets of brains;
One in his head, the usual place,
The other at his spinal base.
Thus he could reason a priori
As well as a posteriori.
No problem bothered him a bit
He made both head and tail of it.
So wise was he, so wise and solemn,
Each thought filled a spinal column.
If one brain found the pressure strong
It passed a few ideas along;
If something slipped his forward mind,
'T was rescued by the one behind.

Source forgotten.

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From: Aliquotes iv.xi (journal) (rogerb#NoSpam.microsoft.com)
                             Foment of Ferment
                           By Wm. Shakespipette

They would heva bleached hereafter.
There would have been a time for such a growth.
E. coli and E. coli and E. coli
swirls in his petty flask from day to day
to the last sample of recorded density
And all our protocols have lighted fools
the way to frothy death.  Out, out brief culture!
Life's but a tepid incubator, a poor plater
that dabs and streaks his colony upon the stage
and then is grown no more; it is a thesis
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
signifying nothing.
Thou comest to mouth pipette; thy inoculum quickly.

chemistry biology
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From: Aliquotes iv.xii (journal) (rogerb#NoSpam.microsoft.com)
Februari 28
August 19
Special Category: Linus Pauling
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes

   (or A Visit From Citrate)

Twas the night before defence, when all through the lab
Not a gel box was shaking, with stain or with MAb;
The columns were hung in the cold room with care,
In hopes that my protein, I soon could prepare;

The post-docs were nestled all smug in their beds,
While extracts of barley muddled their heads;
With the tech in the suburbs and PI the same,
I had just settled down to another video game.

When out of the fridge there arose such a clatter
I sprang from the terminal to see what was the matter.
Away to the cold box, I flew like a flash
But the stench was o'erpowering and I threw up beef hash.

The mould on the dampest of walls were cold
Had the softness of kittens only seven weeks old;
When what to my view, a thing I despise
But a half eaten sandwich and four tiny mice;

With a little old scientist, so lively and galling,
I knew at a glance was Linus Pauling.
More vapid than undergrads, his charges they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them rude names.

"Now, Watson! Now Francis! You strange little modellers!
On Luria! On Bertani! You stupid old broth'lers!
To the top of the bench, to the top of the wall!
Purify! Purify! Purify all!"

As dry heaves before the commitee meeting, bend
A young student's body and his colon distend,
So up their earlobes, acytes they grew,
With a sack full of antibodies, their skin turning blue.

And then, for a second, I heard from the 'fuge,
An unbalanced rotor spinning something too huge.
Where I put down my hand, to better hear the sound,
Came the snapping of sparks from a wire sans ground.

Pauling's hair was al wavy, and I thought I must be sick
`Cause the curls in his hair looked just like a helix.
On an arm load of oranges, he started to snack
An I recalled his fetish with citrate, the quack.

His eyes were all wrinkled, but the cheeks were yet red;
Not too shabby for a man who was several years dead;
The leer of his smile was just a tad scary
And the snow on his rooftop made his head yet quite hairy;

The end of a pipette, he held in his teeth
And a pile of kimwipes lay around his big feet.
He held a small vial of something quite gel-ly,
A mercaptan no doubt, for it make him quite smelly.

He changed `round the columns, adding to the confusion
And I laughed to spite my own paranoid delusion.
A wink of his eye and a rotation of his head,
Told me whatever I drank would soon leave me dead.

He spoke not a word, just buggered up my work,
And dried all my resins, that silly old jerk.
And separating his middle finger from first, fourth and third,
That crazy, old bugger, just flipped me the bird.

He grabbed up his cohorts and ran down the hall,
And away they all flew, letting me take the fall.
That is why, dear Commitee, I am sorry to say,
I need a five year extension, starting today.

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From: Nancy Dobson <nancybrian45#NoSpam.yahoo.co.uk>
December 25
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes

Oh Come All Ye Cells Now
(tune: Oh Come All Ye Faithful)
Oh come all ye cells now
Join in replication
Start duplication
Of your chromosomes
Call it mitosis
Fantastic process
Chromatids start in prophase
Chromosomes dart in metaphase
Poling apart in anaphase
Split in telophase
Chromosomes pair up
In all cells somatic
It's automatic
In each daughter cell
Counting the diploid
Number that is employed
Chromatids start in prophase
Chromosomes dart in metaphase
Poling apart in anaphase
Split in telophase
Nucleic acid
Another facet
Of all living cells
Nuclear division
Is each cell's ambition
Chromatids start in prophase
Chromosomes dart in metaphase
Poling apart in anaphase
Split in telophase

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From: Nancy Dobson <nancybrian45#NoSpam.yahoo.co.uk>
December 25
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes

The Fertiliser

(tune: The First Noel)

The fertiliser
The chemists did say
Was from Nऐ2 and H2
Compressed in this way
Catalysts come in play
And by keeping in heat
In a high pressure vessel
That was so neat
Haber, Haber
Haber, Haber
Born is the process
For ammonia
The fertiliser
The biologists say
Give plants nutrients essential
To grow big this way
In fields where theres
Excess nitrates it makes
and algae in lakes
Haber, Haber
Haber, Haber
Born is the process
For ammonia

chemistry biology
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From: "Cerberus" <Cerberus#NoSpam.The.Gates.To.Hades>
A lab tech with acute constipation
Found relief through centrifugation.
At one thousand times mass,
His tool flew out his ass,
And he found both relief and elation.

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From: David Soriano <dsoriano1#NoSpam.charter.net>

The Millers Song
                by David Soriano

        The evolution of key events
       Bubblesol cycle the key reactor
         Atmospheric counterparts
   And include precipitated droplets.

                 Endless cycles
                Of ebb and flow
Fundamental and timeless assumptions
     Involving certain oceanic interactions.

           Common meeting ground
          Of clays and the organic
       Warm little ponds included
    Now wait for something to happen.

ऊD.S. 2002

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From: Paul Briggs <gup65#NoSpam.shaw.ca>
         DNA limerick

Im the whole of my parts, so they say!
And unique are my parts, DNA.
Theyre tiny in size,
But they sure humanize
My nature and features, २le!

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From: Phil Alexander <dd#NoSpam.philbo.cix.co.uk>
                              The Genome Song

Whenever school gets you down, Master Brown
And science seems hard, or tough
Biology's difficult, obtuse or daft
And you feel that you've had quite enough...

Just remember that you're living in a body that's inspiring
And respiring with ten million million cells
Each one is point-oh-five millimetres side to side
And full of lots of types and kinds of organelles
The nucleus is small - 100 nanometres tall
We make millions of new ones every day
And our chromosomes, it seems, contain 100,000 genes
In a double-stranded helix DNA

Our genome itself contains three billion base pairs
Each one GC or AT side by side
But just one-sixty millions, of those 3.2 billions
Are actually encoding nucleotides
To make one whole protein, it takes but a single gene
Say, fifteen hundred nucleotide pairs
And the whole genetic sequence has millions of billions
Of permutations for our varied life on earth

Our cells and DNA keep on dividing and dividing
Mitosis makes a carbon-copy cell
But so we can reproduce, some cells they will produce
Meiotic'ly a haploid one as well
Two haploids can combine, say, one of yours and one of mine
To create uniquely sequenced DNA
And with this replication comes occasional mutation, so
Evolution comes about this way

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From: Phil Alexander <dd#NoSpam.philbo.cix.co.uk>

I've always wanted to do a Beatles parody about beetles - it seems somehow
So this one is to the tune of "Come Together"

                               By Phil Alexander
Here come old beetle, he got hard elytra
He got six li'l legs and he got long antenna
He does complete meta-mor-phoses
Egg, then larva, pupa then imago (like bees)
He soldier beetle, he one plum curculio
He spot ladybird or stripy colerado
He say - nothing 'cause beetles can't speak
One thing I can tell you is he ain't got no beak
Beetles - cause disease
He one in four in ten of all Insecta
But he ain't no cockroach 'cause they are blattaria
He got no feet below his knee
Anobiidae and Scotylus can spread tree disease
Beetles - got six knees
He roll a shit-wad, he one dumb dung-beetle
He in muddy water he one hydrophilida
He say - nothing, beetles STILL CAN'T SPEAK
Lucky he can fly because he sure cannot ski
Beetles - they ain't fleas

If you enjoyed this parody you can vote for it here:

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From Anastasia Voight (Anastasia3rd#NoSpam.aol.com)
Anastasia  Voight		June 6, 2003


In my life  Ive gone full round 
With symbionts without and in.
Recent science search has found 
Mine enemy is now my  friend 
To cherish,
Not thrust aside, that would be churlish,
Or worse yet murder. That would  be sin
Against myself.  I must not  harm my local flora
Or sabotage au natural fauna
That line my nether gut.
And  in my buccal gums do rut
In ways that investigative minds  have sought
To understand. And in a pedological way
To say,               
We know something of  the prokaryote way.
At times exchanging  information
In what is to us peculiar play.
The sexual configuration 
Of some involves their comrades dead.
If done by  you  or I the dread
Of necrophilia would apply. 
To call this awful carnality 
Is egocentric  judgementality.
Think of those genes by death donated
As  inheritance immediate,
Legacy of novelty, most highly rated
By the recipient who ate it,
Who took it in and incorporated
Only information   lacked.
So useful is this  transformation,
As is the pillic  conjugation
Coupling some in celebration
Of their  differences, 
Genetic nuances,
And by such creation
Their varying.
Would that our  legations
Would imitate this micro nations
Alak, our species legacy 
Is to acquire fulsomely
Everything in quantity
Then to squander  plethoricly.
Meanwhile the very merry evolutionary
Success microbically
Keeps  us sound intestinally,
Because their own reality
Is to need us as their hosts.
As ghosts
We lack hospitality
For most.
So though they could
Extinguish us, to do so would
And compromise
Their propagation.
So humor me this congregation
Upon and in my corporal station.
Think you if you must
Of multinational corporation
And living trust,
And be you glad  this coevolved  cooperation
Leaves us free to contemplate
Our own ephemeral mortal state
To ignore and sublimate
Knowledge that we are the plate
And meat on which they dine
(And mate.) 

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From: brightice2001#NoSpam.yahoo.co.uk (Di Bright)

Escape from reality?  A salutary lesson from the nursery rhymes


                          Mary had a little germ,
                       its face was black as death.
                      And everywhere that Mary went,
                         it followed in her path.
                      She tried to get away from it,
                        and reach a distant planet.
                  But found that it had got there first,
                          and landed Mary in it.
                        And after many eons passed,
                       the Cosmos filled with Marys.
                    And too a myriad black-face germs,
                          all horrible and hairy.
                       So if you would a-Hawking go,
                          remember well my words.
                 While space was erstwhile full of stars,
                           well, now its full of
                  (I can't think of a word to rhyme here.
                  perhaps the reader can supply one .....
                      so to speak.)

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From: Judith Braganca <jbraganca#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

        Mirror Mirror on the Wall

By Judith M. Braganca 
(Dept. of Microbiology, Goa University ऐ India)

Microbes once decided to have a contest,
To decide who amongst them was the best.
They assembled together into a team,
Staph aureus leading the way for the Gram positive,
E.coli doing the honours for the Gram negative.

Entamoeba was the choreographer, Ascaris the chief
Judges included Fungi, Cyanobacteria and the rest.
Sponsored by Bacteriophage, whising them all the very
Agar-agar the official carrier of the test.

Came in E.coli on Endo agar with a metallic sheen,
S.aureus could do nothing but on crutches lean.
Motile Vibrio decided to glow,
But equally fluorescent Pseudomonas gave him the blow.

Then entered Bacillus, the temperature soared.
Enterobacter felt uneasy, the audience roared.

Streptococii arranged themselves in chains,
Out came Corynebacterium with its palisade.

Salmonella on TSI showed its hues,
This gave Mycobacterium the blues.
Then came in the estuarine beauty,

The orange pigmented Haloarchaeal cutie.
With its growth at high levels of sodium chloride,
Who else could the judges choose to ride,
The chariot of fame, the eubacteria to tame?

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From: Judith Braganca <jbraganca#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

     The Mother of all Battles
                            Judith M. Braganca

The viral antigens decided on a battle,
The 'guinea pig Homo sapien was forced to settle,
The battle of supremacy, the battle royal,
To test the immune system, if it was loyal.

The influenza virus showed its might,
Immunoglobulin M, G and A rose to fight.
The GALT and the BALT rose in union
With the Peyers patches in the ileum.

Then the measles virus found its way,
NK cells decided to sway,
Armed with granzyme and perforin,
The virions could do nothing but refrain

Mumps virus thought it best,
To follow measles in the test.
CMI sent out the magic interferon,
Virally infected cells were taken head on.

HIV virus was the last to enter
The immune system was hit in the center
T helper cells were alarmingly fading,
T suppressor cells on the contrary kept on rising.

Seeing the immune system crack,
The Homo sapien decided to act,
Doses of HAART he forced into him,
Which controlled the viral replication, or so it

All this left the poor human weakened,
In spite of relief he was sickened,
Then crept in death, the unexpected guest
Thus putting an end to the Homo sapiens life quest!

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From: stan kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>, Puns of the weak


	 A mighty creature is the germ,
	 Though smaller than the pachyderm.
	 His customary dwelling place
	 Is deep within the human race.
	 His childish pride he often pleases
	 By giving people strange diseases.
	 Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
	 You probably contain a germ.
		(Ogdan Nash)

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From: Peter Klaren (peterk#NoSpam.sci.kun.nl)
November 5
December 1
Special Category: John B. S. Haldane

I remember something from Haldane (famous biochemist):

Sir, on the upper floor the classes
included genii and asses.
The former got out tryptophane
the latter poured it down the drain.

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From: Peter Klaren (peterk#NoSpam.sci.kun.nl)

Or how 'bout the lament of an animal (or any  heterotrophic organism):

I cannot synthesize a bun
by simply sitting in the sun.

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From: "Julie vHoop" <god_calledinsick_today#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

As biology 11 students who need good study habits, I along with my friends
have composed a biology rap.
At the moment, it remains just a protist rap, but dang, is it good. 

It is also not complete, but it will be complete by the end of the
year. Our plan is to make it to finish it off with all of the kingdoms and
information about almost every single phylum. it will be a big task, but
well worth it.
If you would like to see it now, here it is.

Eukaryotic cells have always been my fave

My love for them will follow me to the grave.

Protists are categorized by their means of locomotion,
To them Ill always pledge my devotion.

 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

Protists are simple, they have one cell

If you mess with protists, youre going to hell.

There you might see some pyrrophyta

Those are fire plants, sounds cool, huh?




Dinoflagellates reproduce asexually

That is not like you and me.

They are mostly photosynthetic, 

Their traits are 100% genetic.


I wish I was a sardcodina
I could be found in a marina.

Then I could have a pseudo pod

I dont care if gangstas think Im odd.


Id use projections of my cytoplasm  

Lucky me, I cant have a muscle spasm.

My false foot helps me move and feed

Binary fission is how I do the deed.


To eat Id go up and surround my food, 

Amebas are charmers; theyd never be rude.

Amoeboid movement is really fly

Watch my dance moves as I go by

(Break it down)


If I were a ciliate, Id have two nuclei,

For locomotion, on my cilia I would rely.

My cilia would also force water into the gullet, 

Jon Bon Jovi had a big, curly mullet.


Paramecium have trychocysts for defense.

The classification of protists is really intense!

Euglena are both plant and animal like

They can be found in the ponds at the dyke.




By Julie van der Hoop, Aretha Munro and August Griffin. 

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From: Kathryn Dailey (kathrynd#NoSpam.rosenet.net)

Also, Incredible String Band  (surely they can be found in some old record
store) had
a wonderful "Amoeba Song":

Amoebas are very small...
Oh aii ooh,
There's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
I don't need a wife
living the timeless life
If I need a friend,
I just give a wriggle
split right down the middle
And when I look 
there's two of me
Both as handsome as can be
Oh aii ooh,
there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life.

Hah,  25 years and I remember all the words!
Here, I'll sing it for you.  

Isn't it lovely?

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This descripition of a bacterium is a bit dated (1897).

The microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all.
But many sanguine people hope
To see him down a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tail with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty seperate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen -
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us they must be so ...
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!

--  Hilaire Belloc in "More Beasts for Worse Children" (1897), 47-48

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