Monday, November 27, 2006

Martin's Giving Thanks for Cell Division

I've read several Thanksgiving related posts in blogs in the past week. Holidays make us do that sort of related-to-theme thing, after all. And most posts are thankful for the usual stuff: family, good food, health, love, good books, church, salvation, new experiences, new friends, old friends, a new home, an old home, children, grandchildren, etc.

But Martin at Sun & Shield blog gets the Mir Innovative Blog Entry Award in the topic of gratitude. In all the "thankful for" lists I've seen in my years of blog-reading, I hadn't come across, not once, a gracias for CELL DIVISION.

He's really into it, too:

As a male, I have had a group of cells, in my testes, where meiosis is happening all the time. I'm constantly producing new sperm. Each of these, because of the variety produced by meiosis, may be unique. Let's imagine that we have one of the little creatures by the tail, and can check on its chromosomes. Let's see. Chromosome 1 came from my dad. Chromosome 2 did, too. But chromosomes 3, 4, and 5 came from my mother, and 6 from my father. Over eight million possible combinations (2 to the 23rd power) are possible. And, it's more that that, much more than that. If I could really look at the chromosomes in a sperm, chromosome 2 might be seen to be mostly from my father, but with a little group of genes which came to me from my mother's chromosome 2. It seems possible that I never have, and never will, produce two sperm which are exactly alike.

Well, one of the numerous combinations that produced my husband was clearly one of the best in the history of cell division. That is some yummy variable-ing that mas has.

If it's been a while since you cracked a science book or took a biology class, read his entry. It's unintimidating and a "refresher." And he's right: Thank God for cell division!

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