University of Rochester 2008 Research Retrospective

December 21, 2008

Here’s an informal wrap-up of some of the highlights, mainly in the research realm, of 2008 at the University of Rochester. Happy holidays, and happy Festivus!

Twas the night before Christmas, with funding all spent,
Not a lab hand was stirring, they were just so content;
The pipettes were all hung by the fume hoods with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The boffins were nestled, with nary a sputter,
For they had cleaned up the dangerous clutter,
With diet all healthy, including some hummus,
They had binged on the wine, and were down to the pomace.

When out on the lawn there appeared such a wreck,
The end of a journey, a mind-morphing trek.
A sleigh that was frozen, trapped by the lasers,
By scientists worthy of multiple praisers.

The sleigh it had changed, from redden to golden,
With parts all askew, due to problems a’foldin’,
When out from the sled a really big shot peeked;
Due to the fuel source, the man really reeked.

He sure was attractive, all decked out in red,
Phthalates made him comely, everyone said.
Though his gut did betray a growingly girth,
He’d always been a big boy, even from birth.

"Tat tat tat" came a knock on the door,
"I’ve flown a million billion miles, probably more."
"And..." That little old driver - I cut him off quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
Coughing and hacking - how sad and uncouth!
He boasted great molars, in sync with his belly,
Which shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! He’d make a great donor!
And his ticker - think positive! - he needed no loaner!
His body was wracked by ’clasts vs. ’blasts,
But that clot in his head - all part of the past.

Safe in the saddle, thanks to good sleep,
And due to the zinc, rewards he did reap.
With none in the nest, and troubles with bladder,
The radicals were free; they couldn’t be badder!

"It’s all in the packaging," he said of his freight,
"And the gifts are aplenty - I’m not a cheap skate!
I’ve even got a way to stop ol’ s. mutan,
And I got it without even a-lootin’.

"To sift good and bad I’ve got a fine filter,
A brain quick to help when eyes are off kilter.
A case full of Legos to halt climate change,
Two million hours to give tidings quite strange.

"It’s by working together and rolling along,
Learning from worms, and deploying a song,
Stopping disease by sipping some wine,
That we all un-collapse and enjoy a fine time."

And with that he spit in a cup.
The results were all good - time to go up!
He got the green light, a gift from a fly,
All nonsense aside, he’d give it a try.

"Now! Oxana, now! Betina, now! Allen, and Vera,
"On! Kevin, on! Jason, on! Yuhchyau and Dina;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

With a shout and a jerk, St. Nick took to the helm,
Guided by robot, nearly overwhelmed.
He sprung to his seat and whistled a short tune,
Powered his fuel cells, and aimed for the moon,

Engines ablaze, and quickly in motion,
Infected by nano that seeped through his lotion;
Spanning the planet to help out the needy,
Thanks to Eby’s circuits, all in 3-D.

St. Nick clamored and hollered, "It’s all for the best!
For you, my friend, and my long-term guest!"
Just then did Rudolph prove sprightly and spry,
For he just missed a mountain that leapt to the sky.

With synapses sharpened by an envoy named NoGo,
He lifted his sleigh and made a beeline toward Togo.
I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight --
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

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