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That's What Slugs Are For

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "That's What Love Is For" (written by Michael Omartian, Mark Muller, and Amy Grant and performed by Amy Grant).


Lyrics

Sometimes experiments are easy to design.
We'll take the perfect mollusks
And use recordings from their nerve cells,
Just like Eric Kandel,
To explain why they behave as they do.

Sometimes I wonder if our methods are humane.
We can be so unkind,
Squirting water at their siphon until
They withdraw their gill.
They always get their fill
Of this sadistic drill, 'cause....

That's what slugs are for: to test our theories.
That's what slugs are for: to answer queries.
Map out the wiring, observe neurons firing,
Give us circuits to explore --
Baby, that's what slugs are for.

Sometimes I wonder if we can really use these slugs
To learn about mankind,
But compare the two and you will observe
Many traits are conserved,
And from slugs and squids to hominids,
A nerve is still a nerve....

And that's what slugs are for: to give us data.
That's what slugs are for; they can really aid ya.
It's a small set of neurons, and they're easy to turn on.
Demonstrating "less is more" --
Baby, that's what slugs are for.

This much is true according to
Our anthropocentric view....

That's what slugs are for: to test our theories.
That's what slugs are for: to answer queries.
Map out the wiring, observe neurons firing,
Get us funding when we're poor --
Baby, that's what slugs are for.


Comments

The members of genus Aplysia, colloquially known as "sea slugs," have proven to be an excellent model system in which to study the synaptic connections between neurons. One particularly well-studied behavior is the withdrawal reflex, in which a jet of water to the Aplysia siphon causes the organism to withdraw its siphon and gill.