Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Making Sense of Senses

Pharyngula: Evolution of sensory signaling

Here lies essential unity,
A carnal kin community,
A bond of awed respect
Wherein the feckless take offense.

I talk of evolution
And the lovely Lilliputian
Scale where humans, apes and clams all find
Their family trees condense.

Sense receptors and effectors
Work with protein-based connectors
That are common to our cousins
Small and fuzzy or immense.

Inside our eyes and noses these
G-protein-linked chem-processes
Make signals out of molecules
That enzymes can dispense.

But hearing, touch, vibrations
(All mechanical stimulations)
Govern currents via swelling
When our cell wall membranes tense.

This is just like when E. coli
Grows and stretches to control high
Concentrations, spewing juices
Through pore sluices in suspense.

So heed an active scholar; see,
It's only through biology
We see the clear commencement
Of our senses making sense.


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