Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

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Musings by Donna #53 Muta-Gena- What??

022713 David's Edited Book 2647This is not a book an ordinary reader would curl up in front of the fireplace to read. Frankly, I don’t believe any ordinary reader would ever read it. I doubt they’d understand it. It’s written in English, but it’s no language I recognize. I do love the cover. It looks like pearls – white and black. So pretty!

Some of the chapters include words like … halophilic! Is that some kind of abnormal love of halos? Is Thiol-Based Redox a knock-off brand of sneaker, running shoe, or trainer? Maybe a lesser-known, high-end brand? What about Protein Kinase? Eggs, peanuts, meat, or fish – a protein by any other name is still a protein. Yes? But what is Protein Kinase? Sounds like an exotic French dish. My favorite weird words in the book are aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. Try saying that three times really fast. Try to say it even once – very slowly. I dare you. I tried. I can’t.

Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans flows freely off of the lips of my husband, David. That’s his work. That’s what he studies every day in his laboratory at Columbia University. He can not only pronounce words like phospholipases, mutagenesis, galactosemia, or oligonucleotide, he understands them. He has to. Each of those words is a part of a title of a scientific paper published by one of 21 scientists from around the world in the book titled, Genetic Manipulation of DNA and Protein – Examples from Current Research. The featured scientists are from Spain, Germany, Brazil, Slovenia, Poland, Australia, Chile, Canada, France, Colombia, Mexico, Greece, Germany, and the USA. David is the editor of the book – a daunting task, but one of which he is proud. I’m proud too.

He is also the author of Chapter 3 – Targeted Mutagenesis in the Study of the Tight Adherence (tad) Locus of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans.

Though I don’t suggest youvision chart th read the paper, WordFind_Animatedyou might want to look at the pictures. Some are pretty. One looks like the eye chart in your doctor’s office. AnotherDNA 3th looks like a word search. It’s all about our genetic make-up and our DNA. I can say DNA, really fast – a hundred times – if I want to.

Recently, too, my son was an author on a paper in his field. “Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species’ richness and diversity” What is it with these scientists and their long titles? Like father – like son. Jared is a researcher, too, but his work takes him far below the ocean surface in Monterey Bay in California.

Then there’s my book. “Ludus is NO Positus for a Rana Temporaria.” The title’s not so long. I won’t even attempt to keep up with those guys.  Or if you prefer a common bog frog from Florida, I could change the title to, “Ludus is NO Positus for a Lithobates Okaloosae.”crazy frog th

Seriously, I’ll stick to short, pronounceable titles. The actual title is, “School is NO Place for a Frog.” It’s a picture book manuscript that I adapted to a stage play and recently produced and directed at the Nutley Little Theatre. Unlike David and Jared’s manuscripts, it’s still looking for a publishing house to settle in. So if you happen to know any editor looking for a rana temporaria or a lithobates okaloosae, or just a common, everyday, green frog, please contact me at Neelyf@aol.com. Ribbit!

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(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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February 28, 2013 - Posted by | Musings by Donna | , , , , , , , , ,

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