In honor of Marc Abrahams's annual retreat keynote address, "Improbable Research and the Ig Nobel Prizes," The NICHD Connection asked the fellow retreat presenters to generate a humorous limerick according to their talk's title.
Disclaimer: The NICHD Connection will not be held liable for anyone who busts a gut from reading this article.
"Modulation of DNA Condensation by Ion Valence for Nanomedicine Applications"
By Preethi Chandran, PhD
How DNA pack together is a mystery,
They need polycations, not eHarmony¿
Short DNA slows the affair¿
Fibers form, and their romantic flare
¿Helps DNA stick together for me to study!
(Preethi Chandran studies DNA assembly into nanoparticles using positively charged molecules. Her research has implications for a novel mechanism of DNA delivery during gene therapy.)
"Analysis of DNA Re-replication Dynamics by a Single Molecule Approach: What Can We Learn about Origins of Replication in Mammals?"
By Christelle de Renty, PhD
There once was a replication origin¿
That copied DNA over and over again
¿A brush you'll see¿
Can't detangle this mystery¿
We'll comb the DNA straight then
(Christelle de Renty is interested in the mechanism of DNA re-replication, an event where DNA is copied too many times in a same cell cycle. As mentioned in her limerick, she uses a technique called DNA combing to separate DNA into single molecules for study.)
"Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Is Regulated by Mitochondria within the Somatic Cell of Origin"
¿By Kevin Francis, PhD
Mitochondria serve many roles¿
During apoptosis, their membranes form holes¿
But if mitochondria are slow¿
Stem cell pluripotency is low
¿And now you're even further from your goals
(Kevin Francis studies how mitochondrial activity affects a mature cell's ability to reprogram back into a stem cell state. Kevin is excited that these induced stem cells can be used to create "diseases in a dish" for patient-based therapy.)
"An N-terminal Truncated Carboxypeptidase E Splice Isoform Induces Tumor Growth and Is a Biomarker for Predicting Future Metastasis in Human Cancers"
By Sarvana Murthy, PhD
If there is a tumor in us¿
Look in the cell's nucleus
The tumor's movin'¿
Oh no, that's dangerous!
(Sarvana Murthy studies the expression and localization of a protein known as CPE-delta-N in metastatic tumors. His findings suggest that a doctor can predict the outcome of a patient by determining the amount of CPE-delta-N in the nuclei of sporadic tumor cells.)
"Gene Expression Profiling of Autism Candidate Genes in the Developing Human Brain Implicates Central Immune Signaling Pathways"
By Mark Ziats, future MD-PhD!
Autism genetics are complex
So the expression profiles were indexed
We were surprised to find
Pathways converge on cytokines
Novel implications for the Autistic cortex
(Mark Ziats uses bioinformatics to determine if Autism candidate genes are expressed in the human brain during development and to find if the candidate genes belong to a set of common biological processes. So far, he has found interesting evidence that cytokine signaling, a process used by the immune system, is a common thread among candidate genes.)
"Hindered Diffusion in Polymeric Solutions Studied by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy"
By Silviya Zustiak, PhD
The study of protein diffusion
Is mostly full of confusion
Because we didn't know¿
Crowding versus binding's role
¿Binding hinders more is our study's conclusion
(Silviya Zustiak studies how non-specific binding and crowding affects the ability of proteins to diffuse in the intracellular environment, a notoriously difficult process to measure. Silviya is also the author of our popular postdoc parent articles!)
Have a funny limerick of your own that you'd like to contribute to the newsletter? Send an email to Shana.Spindler@gmail.com!