On mole rats! On M&M dye! On brain cells galore! Research retrospective for 2009

December 20, 2009

mouse
Golden-ear mouse – not stirring on Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even golden mouse;
The halls were all quiet, after the bash,
And PIs were happy with their stimulus cash.

The children were zonked out, bidding Einstein adieu,
While felled by the flu, sneezing “Achoo, achoo!”
When out from the lawn there came a bright flash,
The driver had skipped class and had a great crash.

mole rat
Naked mole rat – or Rudolph in a tizzy?

Get the lead out!” cried St. Nick to his team,
A remark that seemed somehow unkindly – unseem!
And then did poor Rudolph, with a look hideous,
Turn on the man whose cough was insidious.

“Your teeth, all in a row, have started to rot,
You enable perilous bugs – around the globe to trot.
Lucky for you we’re not hijacked by some cat!”
And so it began: Their holiday spat.

glowing orb
St. Nick’s eyes, like great orbs

“My poor Rudolph, your memory lacks,
For guidance I have a chief smarty-pants;
To help guide us through vast puzzles, in Dipper,
So pipe down, dangerous fawn, stop giving me lippa.”

Rudolph was stunned – nose no longer a blinker,
“Now St. Nick, get control of your sphincter!
You packed away snacks, while your parents did lie,
You imbibed in the bubbly.  Quit smoking? Nice try.”

pumpkin catapult
Pumpkins to pummel St. Nick’s sleigh?

St. Nick – he cursed the Higgs for giving him mass!
As he rubbed and stroked his hands, eyeing this varmint crass.
“Just one bite,” he’d say to the ginger,
Completely unaware of the dangers to binger.

But then – like great orbs – grew wide St. Nick’s eyes,
Recalling a better life – one after the fries.
He got so excited, he almost lost his breath,
His back, it bent, from the gifts and their heft.

“By dodging stellar jets and pumpkins on the fly,
While quaffing blue M&Ms to stay springly and spry,
Using my sleigh like a HUMMR to dodge the hot spots,
Evading soaring mountains and other wily plots,

astrocytes
Star-shaped cells give St. Nick an advantage

“With engineers better than those MIT slackers,
The system from Hubble to enable sleigh trackers,
And metals like magic to repel all the rain,
I’ve beaten the odds, thanks to stars in my brain.

With that – Rudolph felt he’d been a tad drastic,
“I’m sorry, old man (but beware of the plastic).
Sorry I got RANKL’d – through the cosmos let’s spin,
It’ll do us some good and give us a GRIN.”

By listening so fine they had come to good terms,
Plus, poor Rudolph, he was fighting off worms;
Symbiotic they were, like bugs in the gut,
Both were on Viagra, but not for that smut!

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:
“Life is good – friends keep us glad!”
The only thing better is the return of Brad!

"Now! Roman, now! Chunlei, now! Daren, and Jill,
"On! Edward, on! Sheree, on! Amneris and Bill;
"To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
"Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

With a vision enhanced by dot upon dot,
He ignored in his hands the cold and the hot.
Serenity now, serenity now,” like Kramer he babbled,
Clearly, ol’ St. Nick’s brain had really been addled.

“Oh Bam-bar-a, don’t you cry for me,
For I come a-bearing gifts to stop the dengue.”
His brain cells were waning, with the chemo and all,
Reindeer were the sort whose friendship he trawled.

Pass the Pig” – he yelled to the kiddies,
“Before more lava bursts forth from Earth’s middies.
With many more years, thanks to Art’s MADIT,
We’ll need a blanket of dollars, our patents have paid it.”

Then onward it was to Galapagos,
With wristbands to keep from gettin’ really gross.
“Keep it clean, keep it clean, stay away from the gore!
The gifts from piano lady are the stuff of lore!”

He heeded the Call, he’d sharpened his vision,
He’d used all the Legos to shape a sleigh-pigeon.
Tropics in the Arctic?” he pulled at his beard,
Precious few things seem quite so weird.

Then he exploited the fries, to power the sleigh,
It’s love that matters – forget the fame and the fray!
And I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight --
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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