cellular biology…an excerpt

In every cell, the means of replication,
Monomers (they’re termed “nucleotides”)
A sugar and a base in combination
Link in helix, forming side by side;
Guanine will attach to cytosine
Always “G to C” or “C to G”
And thymine will as well, to adenine
With “T to A” or maybe “A to T”
The polymer called DNA is made
By adding monomers onto the end.
In living cells, a template strand will aid
The synthesis—the two strands now will bend
In double helix form, as we have seen.
The information carried in this strand
Will be transcribed by RNA; it’s been
Discovered that this process has a hand
In synthesizing proteins—but that’s still
To come—for now, we take a closer look
And see thymine replaced by uracil;
A slightly different way to write our book.


http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/10/st_olaf_talk.php#more

The one-eyed…nevermind…

At one time or other, each sister and brother
Has pondered the musical question
(The topic’s not easy, just take it from PZ):
How an eyeball is like an erection.

The answers may vary—be skeptically wary—
Like “Both can display your affection.”
Well, so can a rose, but that doesn’t disclose
How an eyeball is like an erection.

Perhaps evolution provides a solution
Both organs arise through selection
But so, then, do fingers; the question still lingers
How an eyeball is like an erection.

We may hope to deduce, if we try to reduce
To a chemical sort of connection
But will “similar stuff” prove an answer enough
How an eyeball is like an erection?

Nitric Oxide (you know, you can call it NO)
Causes GuMP to take up a collection
So that GuMP, for a lark, keeps your dick “in the dark”
Thus an eyeball is like an erection

Reproductive success got us into this mess
So it might get us out, on reflection—
But Viagra, we find, is not blindly designed
We distinguish both eye and erection.

With both vision and hearing, the answers are nearing
(Although we can’t hope for perfection),
And for now it’s just fine as a bad pick-up line:
How an eyeball is like an erection.*

(*answer: “It’s an empirical question—let’s experiment, and find out.)

Pharyngula asks the question…
…based on effectmeasure’s post.

Templeton has no purpose

The question of the universe’s purpose, whether posed vocally or in text,
Leaves people vexed.

Although, I would not be averse
To studying the purpose, characteristics, ins and outs of Miss Universe.

So, rather than debating whether or not a black hole is evidence of Where God Went Wrong,
I can see whether Miss Brazil or Miss Argentina looks better in a thong.

So that I can get back to the business of inspecting the finest examples of female form in the human race,
I will suggest that the purpose of the universe is: to take up space.

“No purposes but those we create” on Pharyngula

Sign me up!

Denyse O’Leary is teaching Intelligent Design?

When I start to grow weary of Mrs. O’Leary
I think she takes pity on me.
As a sign of affection, she changes direction—
A brand-new performance to see!

I’ll get myself, pronto, right up to Toronto,
Enroll myself into her class
With God as my buddy, I’ll sit there and study
Whatever she pulls from her ass.

Her guest speaker, Behe (just hear the class tee-hee),
Will make irreducible claims
(If you point out one blunder, it all falls asunder—
Add drinking, and now you’ve got games!)

In the syllabus—wait, is there really debate?—
It says both sides bring science to bear;
But the insider rap says it’s “God of the gaps”
And frankly, I really don’t care.

See, I know in my heart, it’s not science, it’s art
And Denyse does interpretive dance.
And yes, she is lying, but, Lord, she is trying
Her best, by design or by chance.

But wait! Someone said it would not count for credit?
Does UT admit this is shit?
With no compensation, no change of location
For Cuttlefish—sorry, that’s it.

Plot synopsis

Pharyngula reports on the movie “Einstein Wrong”…

Albert Einstein (that poseur) was wrong;
The housewife, of course, has it right.
The film clearly shows that stupidity flows
Just a little bit faster than light.

With the “dark side of physics” exposed
And the world once again seen as flat
The film next unlocks Dr. Schroedinger’s box
And discovers what’s up with his cat.

Joseph Priestly was also a fraud—
There’s no “oxygen”—perish the thought!
And with oxygen pissed on, it’s time that phlogiston
Is once again what kids are taught.

The de Hilsters’ new paradigm shift—
“The new physics”, we call it at work—
Shows a housewife can still, through the sheer force of will,
Kick the ass of a dumb patent clerk.

You may all disagree if you wish;
You may find it a little bit funny
But the most crucial part—from the depths of my heart…
Won’t you please send us lots of your money?

Version 2.7

The “cognitive daily” blog asks: Will humans marry robots in 50 years?

Linky.

She’s my little bit of heaven, even better than real life,
She’s the version 2.7 motor-actuated wife.
When I come home from the office, she’s a sympathetic ear,
With the faintest scent of silicone I catch as we draw near.
“Here, let me take your papers, Hon, and let me rub your back;
You must have had a stressful day—come on, let’s hit the sack.”
Her lips are warm and supple, with a kiss that shows desire—
A brilliant application of a bit of memory wire.
She trembles gently at my touch, as strain-gauge sensors feel,
And as she starts to moan and gasp, you’d swear that she was real.
But she’s better than a flesh-and-blood—For one thing, she has codes
Allowing me to choose from seventeen vibration modes!
She never has a headache; there’s no in-laws to avoid;
Heck, I’ve never even had the need to change a solenoid!
She’s my little bit of heaven, even better than real life,
She’s the version 2.7 motor-actuated wife.

Share/Bookmarka2a_linkname=document.title;a2a_linkurl=”http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2007/10/version-27.html”;

Rainbows and Rubies…

Once upon a time, the rainbow’s end
Is where a leprechaun would hide his gold
Then Newton showed us how a glass would bend
A beam of light—a rainbow we behold!

This bending light is what allows, today,
A view of distant galaxies and more
The start of time itself is on display
And lifetimes’ worth of treasures to explore.

These treasures, it now seems, include real jewels
When quasar jets spit rubies and sapphires;
From Newton’s prism, oh what wondrous tools
Expose a treasure passing all desires

The rainbow’s gold’s forgotten; this is real:
A myth discarded, treasures may reveal!

Inspired by
This blogpost at Cat Dynamics

Much Ado About…The Brain?

“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”
Much Ado, IV.i.284-285

A student at Pharyngula asks “why do we still talk about the heart?”

The sound of your voice thrills my temporal lobe,
My occipital swoons at your sight;
When we walk hand in hand, my parietal and
My prefrontal are filled with delight.

My thalamus and hypothalamus know,
Without anyone having to tell ‘em,
That I’m head over heels, and it certainly feels
Like I am to my poor cerebellum.

Hippocampally organized memories tell
Of the way people look and admire us;
It’s like walking with god, but that’s really the odd
Way I feel my right angular gyrus.

My amygdala swells with desire for you,
But with rage and fear? Nope, nada.
My pulse will race, and my breath keep pace,
Thanks, medulla oblongata.

Master Shakespeare, speaking through Beatrice, might
Have nearly said it best:
“I love you with so much of my brain
That none is left to protest.”

Illinois…STFU

It seems that Illinois has legislated a moment of silence. What could be bad about that?

A moment of silence
Does nobody vi’lence,
And offers nobody offense
To cease from the riot—
Have everyone quiet—
They tell me it only makes sense

It’s “time for reflection”;
What sort of objection
Could anyone possibly make?
You just hit the jackpot;
This Cuttlefish crackpot
Will gladly point out your mistake.

So steady, there—steady,
Illinois, see, already
Has silence-by-choice legislated;
This new legislation
To my great frustration
Has school-wide inaction mandated.

Each morn, for one minute,
Each school and all in it
Must sit and do nothing at all
Of course, no distraction,
But also, no action!
And that’s got my back to the wall.

See, I know of the Great
(Well, it was) Prairie State
And I know that the people are strong
And to make them all sit
And refuse to commit
To an action—I see it as wrong.

I beg you, recall
That a minute is all
That it takes for a lot of good deeds
No need to belabor
But helping an neighbor
One minute might meet all his needs.

Or maybe, combine
All the minutes you find
In a classroom, a school, or a county;
The effort, now summed,
Has never been plumbed,
But would yield an incredible bounty.

Imagine the time
Spent in work (not in rhyme)
If one classroom could pool its resources
And one county—one state—
One could hardly debate
The pro-social effect of such forces

But the wise Prairie State,
With the usual debate,
Has decided they somehow know better;
Overcoming a veto
They think it is neato
To redo the law to the letter.

So now, it is clear,
That each student and peer,
In every last one of their classes,
Will take sixty seconds
As anyone reckons
And legally sit on their asses.

And thus, by the powers
Of congressmen, hours
Are wasted in silence each day;
It seems it is lawful,
If perfectly awful,
So long as the students don’t pray.

The scene that’s resulting
Is really insulting
To Atheist and Christian as well;
And now, every morning,
With copious warning,
The state is just going to hell.