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These Cells Are Your Cells

This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of "This Land Is Your Land" (written and performed by Woodie Guthrie).


Lyrics

CHORUS:
These cells are your cells; these cells are my cells,
From the CD4 cells to the retinal Y cells.
From the haploid gametes to our guest E. coli,
These cells are found in you and me.

When I am running, my knees go skyward
From the contraction of muscle fibers.
Their sliding filaments support this function,
And these cells are found in you and me.

CHORUS

We have red blood cells with hemoglobin
To carry oxygen where the blood is flowin'.
No organelles here -- just lots of protein,
And these cells are found in you and me.

CHORUS

When the sun is shining, there's nothing better
Than light absorption by photoreceptors.
With their rhodopsin and ion channels,
These cells are found in you and me.

CHORUS


Comments

This is a musical attempt to capture both the importance and the diversity of the cells found in our bodies. It was written and performed for students in Biology 212 in the spring of 2003. CD4 cells are "T helper cells" of the immune system; they express the CD4 protein at their surface. The Y cells are retinal ganglion cells that fire in response to changes in (rather than absolute levels of) light intensity. Finally, please note that while mature mammalian red blood cells do not appear to have any membrane-bound organelles, the same cannot be said of all vertebrate red blood cells.