Sunday, April 12, 2009

totipotent or zygotelike tzfardeah

It's been a while since I thought of Professor Babich at YU - he of the Mabul fame.

Well, he's back at it - this time analyzing the plagues with his ever-keen scientific mind:

The plague of frogs commences with the following, “Aharon stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt and the frog צפרדע infestation ascended and covered the land of Egypt (Shemos 8:2). In this verse the word “frog” is in the singular and Rashi cites a Midrash contending that one frog initially emerged from the Nile River. When the Egyptians struck the frog, it fragmented into many frogs. On the surface, this appears to describe cloning, through which differentiated adult cells become embryonic or totipotent to develop into copies of the original organism. Interestingly, prior to cloning the lamb Dolly, the initial successful cloning experiments, developed in the 1950s by Robert Briggs and Thomas King, were with frogs (Rana pipens)14. With this in mind, and probably pushing a scientific explanation to its extreme, striking the initial frog may have caused shedding of its differentiated epidermal somatic cells, which became totipotent or zygotelike cells, undergoing mitotic divisions to generate multicellular frogs.

Next we should analyze whether Cylons can really clone themselves on Battlestar Galactica.

UPDATE: Seems like both XGH and DovBear have discovered the same article. Don't know if they both stumbled upon my post or found it independently...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few days ago a colleague of mine "informed" me that an explorer had found Noah's ark. I replied with a straight face that archeologists also found the giant pit from James and the Giant Peach. He was not amused.

April 13, 2009 10:56 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

This explanation is interesting although statistically highly unlikely. But if it were how that happened,(if it actually happened) I do not think that makes it less creepy. I always thought it was creepy that you could cut a worm in half and then it would be two worms - this strikes me as sort of the same thing.

April 16, 2009 2:06 AM  
Blogger Miri said...

lubab no more isn't letting me see his blog anymore. Why? Can I do something to change that?

April 16, 2009 2:08 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

You need to email him and ask him to let you access his blog. I haven't done so, therefore I have no idea why he locked it down.

April 16, 2009 6:59 PM  
Blogger Miri said...

do you know where I can find his e-mail address?

April 17, 2009 5:25 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

LubabNoMore at gmail dot com

April 18, 2009 6:33 PM  

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