Baby talk

So the title doesn’t really have much to do with this. Not really. but it does at the same time. Kinda. Well yes but not in the way one would talk about babies.

You know how they say people of science are not creative and artsy? Well, here’s a poem from the introduction of Langman’s Medical Embryology written by T.W.Sadler. Sure it’s about cells, but it’s a poem.

Ode To A Placode

NOTE: A PLACODE IS A LOCAL THICKENING IN THE EMBRYONIC ECTODERM LAYER THAT DEVELOPS INTO A SENSORY ORGAN OR GANGLION. (and a ganglion is a group of cells bodies in the Peripheral Nervous System)

There once was a flat sheet of cells,
That were stumpy and ugly as hell;
But one day they arose, stood tall on their toes,
and declared they were the best cells of all.

Presumptuously they cried that their lineage was high
and right proudly they bragged of their codes
But soon it was clear, they weren’t like the ear
and they were nixed in their dreams as placodes.

Semantics, they screamed, please maintain our dreams,
but their please were unheeded and late;
And now to this day in repast they must lay
as a misconstrued, flat neural plate!

 

Alright so you’ll find it awesome if you knew what was going on.  Do you want me to explain? Okay, so basically a placode is the bunch of cells that group together to become the future organ like an eye or an ear. And the neural plate is the  bit of the embryo that will develop into the nervous system (ie; it’ll fold to form the neural tube and neural crest). So in this poem, the cells in the neural plate were thinking that they’re going to become the cells in an organ but instead remained as neural plate cells! But the thing is, they’re going to form the nervous system of the body, which is what connects everything together so they’re not actually just boring cells.

You must really wonder how I find that thrilling.

I just thought it was cool that there was actually a poem written about these cells. Who says medical people are cold and clinical? T.W. Sadler dedicated the book to “each and every child”. That’s pretty cool in my books.

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