Friday, May 26, 2006

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat a ...


...nematode. Welcome to the science corner of our posting program...

Ain't he cute? I think I'll name him Erwin, in honour of the artist Erwin Wurm. His real name is Caenorhabditis elegans but I can hardly stick my head out the back door and call him for supper* using that moniker, now can I? Mostly because I can't pronounce it. Not that I could see him if he showed up... even at their most robust, these little guys only grow to 1 mm. That's almost invisible to you and me, Rusty.**

Okay, I confess. I don't know from nematodes, except what I've gleaned from Wikipedia and Google over the last 3 and a half minutes and a vague recollection from my high school biology classes of them being wormy and very, very small. And they're hermaphrodites, which must come in handy... sometimes... like in a bar, where you could take yourself home and tell everyone you got lucky... and only be partly fibbing...

All of this is in aid of presenting one of my favourite commenters with something I thought might amuse him that I found whilst surfing. The Nematode Songbook I couldn't just email it to him. What fun would that be?

Apologies to anyone who finds squirmy things, even microscopic ones, icky. Pretty colours, though, huh?



*Get it? Call him for supper? Tee hee!

**Extra points if you get this reference.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Ricardipus, vermiform said...

*ahem*

Yours truly spent three years working on nematode neurobiology. Yes really. See here (for hardcore biologists only):

http://www.pubmedcentral.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=14739932

and also here (slightly less painful):

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=11331184&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum

So now you know.

May 26, 2006 at 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Ricardipus, slithering said...

P.S. Nematodes are very prevalent (in soil, animal gut, lots of other places).

Some wag once noted that 'three out of four animals on Earth are nematodes, and the fourth is a beetle'.

Some other wag noted that if you stripped away everything on Earth that *isn't* a nematode, you would still be able to make out most of the major geographical features of the planet.

Bit disturbing, really...


/'more than you wanted to know' mode

May 26, 2006 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Mmmmm... dopamine...

May 26, 2006 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

*ahem*

I knew that...

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system for the study of many biological processes. It possesses a simple nervous system with known anatomy and connectivity, is conveniently and cheaply cultured in the laboratory, and is amenable to many genetic manipulations that are impossible in mammalian systems.

So what you're basically saying is, C. elegans is a cheap date that'll do whatever you want?

May 26, 2006 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Ricardiwiggle said...

Hm... I believe I even wrote that sentence.

I could rattle on about C. elegans, but what would be the point?

They don't taste good though (probably).

May 26, 2006 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

What do you mean 'probably'? You've never tasted one? What kind of scientific method is that?

May 26, 2006 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous TC said...

I wouldn't know a nematode from a cestoda..hopefully!

May 26, 2006 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Sure you would. You could actually see a cestoda for one thing...

May 26, 2006 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Mmmm....gummy nematodes...

May 26, 2006 at 11:29 PM  
Anonymous TC said...

See how crap I am at science!

I always was more of a (piss) artist, moi.

Later, alligator.

May 27, 2006 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Mr. Fab - Yeah! Gummy nematodes! Blue raspberry flavour, obviously. And you only need about 2,000 of 'em to make one gummy bear... or something. I was never any good at math.

TC - Aw! Not true! I've read your May 25 post. (Pssst! Google and Wikipedia - read 'em! Then keep a straight face while you quote 'em. Don't tell anyone I told ya!) What? Nothing to see here, folks! Just a little help between friends...

May 27, 2006 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger jkirlin said...

The Friendly Giant?

May 28, 2006 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger The Wrath of Dawn said...

Where?

May 28, 2006 at 11:37 PM  

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