Posted by: Kay at Suicyte | September 13, 2007

OEDILF

Via cotch.net, I found the “Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form“, (OEDILF), which is a moderately funny collection of, well, dictionary entries in limerick form. OEDILF claims to have over 44000 user-contributed entries. As you would expect, most of them are not particularly funny (I am not sure if this is intended, but what else is the point of putting definitions in limerick format?). Interestingly, OEDILF has a a quite extensive science section, which includes two entries on apoptosis. As you can see, they are not too bad:

(note that the explanations given below the limericks are from OEDILF, there are not mine. I don’t think readers of Suicyte Notes need an explanation what apoptosis is, right?)

apoptosis, apoptotic by Steve Ngai

Our cells have no bleaker prognosis
Than a self-death by sad apoptosis.
These poor cells, findings say,
Choose to end their tough day.
Hm, perhaps they seek metempsychosis?

Apoptosis (ay-pop-TOE-sis) is programmed cell death, a “cell suicide” in response to environmental stimuli. Metempsychosis (meh-tuhm-sigh-KO-sis) is the post-mortem passing of the soul into another body.

cell death, apoptosis by hugh.adler (Hugh Adler)

A cell cannot think, laugh or lie;
It just is and, when told to, will die—
Through, perhaps, apoptosis
(Far worse is necrosis—
The cell just gets murdered. . . poor guy).

There are two kinds of cell death. Programmed cell death (apoptosis or autophagic/cytoplasmic cell death) occurs when a cell has reached the end of its lifespan, when it develops abnormal or potentially dangerous traits, or as a normal aspect of embryological organ development. In the case of some white blood cells, it can also occur after the cell has ingested and destroyed bacteria. Necrosis occurs when the cell is injured pathologically, or is under pressure from its environment—for example, starved of oxygen. Programmed methods of cell death are far “cleaner” and better managed—in necrosis, the cell simply bursts and often inflames the surrounding tissue.

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