Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Not My Morula: Part Whatever of an Educational Series

So, when last we left our zygote - excuse me, not "our" zygote - yours maybe! I have no idea. Don't ask me whose zygote, I have no dog in that fight. Point is, it was a zygote. But it very quickly undergoes a startling metaphorphosis! The fused nucleus begins dividing, via a process called "cleavage":

Not My Morula

(not my cleavage)

So we see here, at first this looks pretty good for our pal the mitochondria. He's got a buddy! A big, googly-eyed buddy. But not so fast, this process is as alarming as it is inexorable:

Not My Morula 2

Told you. That mitochondria's not so sanguine about matters now is he! He's like, "oh shit it's the blob!" And he's not far off. Because look:

Not My Morula 3

This here is what is called a "morula." (but cf. the post title! ...and n.b. it while you're at it!)

There's a couple few things to point out at this stage:

1. All of the cell division thus far has been mitotic. That means I know the technical terms.

2. The cleavage at this point has all been just subdividing and subdividing - the actual dudeuole is still the same size! He hasn't gotten any bigger!

2.5 A female dudeuole would be called a dudetteicule.

3. That mitochondria's fine. Don't worry about him. He's in there someplace! It's a little cramped, maybe, but that's the worst of it.

...until the next stage unfolds...


  1. The things I learn from you! That last one looks like something "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" probably hosted. :)

  2. Heh heh! I hope I don't lead anyone astray. I'm only learning most of this stuff on the fly, as I post!

    Tip: if I refer to anything as "The Bessemer Process", i.e., "This is called the Bessemer Process"...take it with a grain of salt. I've long since forgotten what the Bessemer Process really is, so I just use it as my go-to technical term.

  3. (I'm also just waiting for someone to correct me on using the plural for singular on 'mitochondria')

    (sometimes you can't be entirely scientifically or grammatically accurate, that dude's too cool to be being referred to as 'mitochondrion' - DORK CITY!)