Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Moon and I

Once the sun has dropped to dine
A rock in the sky starts to shine
And I return the smile
For it is the moon, an old chum of mine.
And we gaze at each other
Playing different parts every instant
Once a mistress, once a brother
And then a monster or then a mother.
An untold affection holds us
Awaiting the others varied form:
I'm sometimes pensive, sometimes glum
Sometimes ebullient, sometimes numb.
The moon is so expressive in turn
A crescent of silver, a golden urn
Pleasant laughter, a precocious smile
Angry rubour or sulking black denial
Or sweetly a BIG lump of sugar,
Flying high, in style.
Suddenly then I'm gripped by jealousy
Crying that promiscuity is heresy!
And the Moon flirts all the time
With poets and novelists
And Werewolves... and just wolves
And serial killers and tides.
And then I summon my senses
Reminding me I'm human.
Humans had best be my friends
And not the Moon's terrain,
Or I'll surely turn insane.
Yet, I'll never let this mateship die,
This knot unto myself I tie,
For when all else is gone...
The Loon and the Moon shall live on!
Composed on a cool walk under the beaming full moon mid November 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

Witches of Yore: Biologists and Medics today

There were witches then, who used bat ears pickled for thirteen days in lizard blood with armadillo's nails and Lion's ear wax, stirred nine times on full moon days with the left hand to the right hand side and on new moon days, six times with the right hand to the left hand side to create a cockroach with dragon's wings, bad breath and (reference unavailable).

We now have biologists growing human stem cell lines that lie submerged in fetal bovine serum over mouse embryonic fibroblasts, infected with virus (grown in cancer cells, again feeding on cow blood extract) that has in it genes from a fluorescent seaweed (put there with the help of the juice of bacteria that were grown on ferment and rotting meat, and molecular scissors from Escsherichia coli), injected into an embryonic mouse's brain to create a mouse with 10% human brains!(Muotri et al 2005)

Come to think of it, the way genetic material is being cut, pasted and strung together and then popped in and out of cells and then implanted into a versatile repertoire of uterii, the only thing left is for Damien Omen to jump out of a jackal!

Medics are not far behind. Vacanti et al grew a human ear on the back of a mouse. An Assamese doctor was reported to have transplanted a pig's heart into a human and the patient lived on for a week. Organ transplant is as commonplace as Lego blocks. It would seem that there the degree of plasticticity in living systems is great enough to make the legendary Chimera a near reality. Why, one can create two headed frogs at will today! One can make mice that have two "anterior" halves of the fore brain pointing away from each other. Believe it or not! College kids have made bacteria dance to luminous cues.

While the reality of accomplishing such feats is only a little less magical than it once was, questions about how the magic is to be employed is still hangs heavy! Are the nefarious, wicked witches casting spells to make more and more deadly biological weapons in their cauldrons, or are the sweet Samanthas (the lovely lead witch from "Bewitched") stirring up gene potions nearing panacea? Is there a necessity or way to control them?

Any opinions anyone?!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dhananjay's Law of Availability

Girls are either taken or untakeable.
The most elusive exception justifies the pursuit.