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A Biologist’s Mother’s Day Song

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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Happy Mother’s Day!

A molecular biology ditty for mom by Adam Cole, who has a pretty fun science video channel. You know I love this one!

“Slightly more than half of me is thanks to you!!”

From his description below the video come his lyrics and a quote by the wonderful Robert Sapolsky.

Lyrics:
To make one me you just add
Half of mom and half of dad
That is what I once believed
But I know now that I was wrong
I got so much more from you mom
Than just half a set of genes
I got nutrients and transcription factors
and nearly everything that matters
plus my prenatal environment (transplacental inheritance)
mRNA, mitochondria,
That back in the day once belonged to ya (theyre cytoplasmic)
and I just want to thank for supplying them

Just like two strands of DNA are spirally entwined
Your nature and your nurture are inspiringly combined
Scientists remind me and I find that it is true
Slightly more than half of everything I am is thanks to you

Mitochondria power my cells
and they have DNA as well
Transcription factors modulate transcription
And since they’re in the cytoplasm
The eggs the only one that has em
and sperm I guess they dont have much ambition

My sex determination gene means that Im a guy
From you I got my X chromosome, from Dad I got my Y
X has over a thousand genes, Y has less than 92
Thats why more than half of everything I am is thanks to you

I roomed in your womb for nine whole months and never paid the rent
Your glucocorticoids shaped my hypothalmic development
I took in your blood and sucked it dry of every nutrient (its gross but true)
Sometimes I wonder where the time went (where did it go)
Sometimes I wonder where it went

I know Ill never understand all you have done for me (Im not that smart)
But since you paid for college Ill get my B. S. degree (bachelor of science)
And I have learned its not BS but absolutely true
Slightly more than half of everything I am is thanks to you.

“It’s not an even 50/50 split you get a disproportionate share of your DNA coming from your mom. Really important.” – Robert Sapolsky

Joanne Manaster About the Author: Joanne Manaster is a university level cell and molecular biology lecturer with an insatiable passion for science outreach to all ages. Enjoy her quirky videos at www.joannelovesscience.com, on twitter @sciencegoddess and on her Facebook page at JoanneLovesScience Follow on Twitter @sciencegoddess.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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