Molecular Medicine Made Easy in Poetry

by Prof Dr Nor Hayati Othman

This is the era of molecular medicine
If you are not in it, you are out of fashion
Every disease now has genetic notion
From colo-rectal cancers to disturbed emotion

Everyone is talking about DNA
Which could be obtained from victim or prey
Policemen, judges, fear we allay
We will get the culprit who is astray

Who have not heard of Jurassic Park?
The famous movie that scored a high mark
Mosquitoes, elephants, man or macaque
We can get your DNA in daylight or dark!

Molecular medicine is the in-thing
The terms used are sometimes confusing
Consensus sequences and alternative splicing
Exons, introns are just the beginning

LOH, SSCP, and gene rearrangement
Upstream, downstream and cellular disjunction
When the offspring get it, is it’s germline mutation
When the bases are deleted, it’s frameshift mutation

The nucleus of a cell is the basic structure
It is present in every creature
Located deep within the chromosome
The identity of a person is his genome

Missense, nonsense are no nonsense
Arrangements of codons is what they sense
Good and bad proteins get cleansed
For the cell to grow, regulation is intense

The cellular growth has many phases
Chromosomes migrate in telophases
At the end of chromosomes there are telomeres
The length of which can indicate disasters

There is this term called ‘tandem repeats’
Triplet series of nucleotide beats
Scientists use the ‘ORF’ information
To locate the area of protein translation

There are many more genetic jargons
‘Hotspots’,’ immortalization’ and ‘genetic penetrance’
‘Enhancer elements’ and ‘elongation’
To lay people they could mean flirtation!

Clinical applications of molecular pathology
Impossible to list, as they are too many
Neoplastic processes or diseases of kidney
With genetic splices, we can tell the story

PCR technique is now in prime
Scientists prefer this method anytime
Do it in-situ or do it in real-time
The gist is, PCR is sublime

It does not matter what is your clan
Be you Chinese, Indian or children of Anne
Race is not seen in your genetic plan
The differences you see are only in your mind!

About the author:

Prof. Dr. Nor Hayati Othman is the Dean of Clinical Science Research at Universiti Sains Malaysia. She can be contacted at: hayati[at]

Photos by:

Lab Science Career/Flickr
Boreio Selas/Flickr

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