Biology – creative projects

In the Developmental Biology (BIOL 410) class, students were required to make a creative representation of a class topic. Although all the projects were fantastic, the ones that could easily be transferred to the web are shown below:

Poem on Regeneration (by Cara Grazette):

I think I’m gonna talk about regeneration..
Planaria are full of stem cells,
That’s why they regenerate without much hassles,
But newts have a different version.

Is it easier or harder? Now, that’s the question.
The cells of the blastema orchestrate the new limb.
They never just go out on a wimb..
But it’s crazy they had to go through amputation.

Now it sucks that humans can’t do this too.
But it seems we’re missing this thing – CD-50
Though, if I could I’d just order some in a jiffy.
Human regeneration? Just continue to pursue.
Maybe one day we’ll solve the mystery.

Caffeine in a College Life (by Tayde Quinto)

Caffeine pulsing through veins
Blocking adenosine receptors
Coffee, candy, chocolate
In an attempt to wake my brain

Neurotransmitters are awaken
Transmitting signals from cells to cells
Trying to fix homework mishaps
Thinking I’ll finish perhaps

Increase of dopamine happen
My mood becomes better
Motivation starts to kick in
My fingers begin to prance
Across the keyboard in an eloquent rant

Acetylcholine improves my memory
And finally everything makes sense
Biology is no longer a blur
Proteins, genes, I all comprehend
Pathways, lab reports I too understand

But now serotonin levels begin to decrease
Words run together the more I stare
I come to the end
I got to print and just as I hit send
I realize I did the wrong thing
This leads me to now sleepy and stressed.

Achondroplasia (by Cherriese Thompson)

A short problem you see.
With a name a paradox to reality.
One may inquire why.
Well, small stature is the affair
Obvious to the eye.
Yet, kept low in the air
A disharmony.

The long bone remains small,
Desiring to be tall.
What is its pickle?
An imbalance in the womb?
Maybe the environment is fickle.
Or development not given a chance to bloom.
But it’s none of that at all.

A kinase of tyrosine
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3.
An unfortunate mutation in its gene
Causing its over-activation in the cells.
Effects eventually seen.
The phenotype tells
of an activity obscene.

Normally FGFR3 has a negative goal
of regulating endochondral ossification in its sole.
But this over expression
is too much activity.
It causes a depression
resulting in proliferation deficiency.
Chondrocytes now stopped at this toll.

What can be done?
Or what should be undone?
Doctors have done a lot
like surgery to lengthen the bone.
To normalize the plot,
there is human growth hormone.
But still trying to find the golden one.

Let’s hope research does its part
to prompt growth to restart.
I’ve said all I could say
and the ball is in their court
To solve it sooner these days,
and the time needed as short.
So now, I depart.

Acrylics (painted by Megha Verma).

The colors in the red and yellow one, fading to white around the baby, represent the flow of nutrients from the mother to the baby – sometimes at the expense of the mother. The other painting is more abstract and is mother and baby, with the blue and green representing the colors of life.

Megha picture1 Megha picture2

Biology Department

L. Melvin Roberts, PhD, Chair
Glen H. Bennett, PhD
Nellie McKenzie, PharmD
Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva, PhD
Anthony G. Futcher, PhD

For program information, contact:

Dr. Melinda Ekkens-Villanueva
Phone: 301-891-4462
Room 102D, Science Building