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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Mythology of Biology

By Lea

Before microbiology
Bacteria were mythology
Demons, humors, tainted blood
No one knew just what was what

But thanks to Dr. Levenhook
Mankind got a closer look
Now we see, and oh so clear
That microbes are, like, Everywhere!

And thanks to Dr. Kaiser
Our world is so much wiser
We know how to identify
Those things which quickly multiply

And how to know the difference
'tween the ‘cillins and the 'mixins
And how to make a heat fixed stain
And isolate resistant strains

Gram positives with nag and nam
And cross linked peptide bonds
Gram negatives with LPS,
Endospores that outlive bombs

Molds with hyphae, vegetative
Molds with canidiaspores
Molds that aren't cooperative
Hide in endospores

Staph Aurous grown on people's skin
Enterococcus likes to hang within
E. Coli chills inside the gut
If it migrates foreword, you wee a lot.

Another of my favorites is t. pallidum
You don't want to meet
This spirochete
That syphilis is made from

Streptococcus pyogenes
can make a throat so red
If the latex clumps on a direct s test
Its amoxicillin and straight to bed!

Microsporum tuburculae oh what a nasty thing
It fills the lungs with tubercles
That make it hard to sing

Be careful when you go outside
Or when you play in dirt
Beware of cuts from rusty nails
Clostridium tetany sure can hurt

Pneumocystis jirovecii,
A dimorphic bird poop mold
Can cause respiratory pcp
In those with HIV, were told.

To speak of Candida Albicans
Requires some finess-es
The mere mention of its yeastly name
Can petrify those who wear dresses

But if that little friendly yeast
Gets all comfy where he's welcome not
Ergosterol inhibitors; what a relief!
Clotrimazole hits the spot.

There are so many different ways
To keep those nasty bugs at bay
Static cidal fungicidal
So many things microbicidal

It's hard to know which one to choose
Some strains will win and some will lose
But a Bauer Kirby diskette test
Can let you know which agent's best

And if you ever want to know
Just which pathogen ails one so
Phage typing is the way to go.
To find out just which microbe
Is replicating to and fro
Ain’t it just so darn terrific
The way phages are bacterio-specific?

Inflammation is something …
That everyone must do
To increase capillary permeability
And bring lymph cells to tissue

So don't have a bad attitude
If you get sick have gratitude
Innate Immunity will get you through
Until adaptive knows what to do

Antigen presenters play the game of show and tell
Bringing epitopes to killers,
making cytotoxic cells

By presenting all the things they've got
They help T cells mature
Into the type that can Lyse cells
Or act as effectors

Natural killers roam around
Looking for bad guys
If they spot a stressed or tumor cell
They'll shoot him 'tween the eyes

But first they check to see if he
Displays his stuff on MHC
For even if the signal says
To kill the bad cell, shoot it dead,
If MHC is exhibited
Then that signal is inhibited

But don't you worry, never fret
That trick won't last long, don't forget
That B cells don't care all that much
Just how cells show them what they've got
For antigens can bind cell B
without a fancy MHC

And when B cells meet their perfect mate
They can become something so great!
Cuz when the opsonizing starts
And CB3 binds B's "2" part
It isn't long, oh bless my heart!
'Till naive B's transforms themselves
To antibody secreting plasma cells

Isn't it incredible
How some cells are edible
Isn't it terrific
That adaptive cells are so specific?

Doesn't it make you cheery
That confused self-antigen binders
commit harikiri?

Now that we are so much wiser
Let’s say "Thanks!" to Dr. Kaiser
For helping us get oh so knowledgy
About the wonders of microbiology!

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