Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Spring break, embryology, and miscellany Well, we're packing and ready to move off- heading north to visit both heather's and my parents. It will be nice to see everyone again, though the drive will be a long one (17 hours to SK). Whew. I just finished my Public health and Case study IV exams today, Pharmacology is tomorrow... fascinating, overwhelming, intoxicating, this pharmacology- feels like a dream, this is the stuff I always envisioned learning in vet school. It's a good feeling. I found out today that I have gained a place in the bovine pregnancy palpation lab for the second half of the semester; I had very nearly forgotten that I had asked to be added to the alternates list (that would be consulted were there any drops) for the course, so it was a nice surprise. I've already had comparatively extensive experience with palpation and ultrasonography, but the emphasis in my previous course work was placed on speed and accuracy, rather than diagnostic workup. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, out on a farm, clients rarely care how the ovaries feel and whether or not there is evidence of fremitus- they just want to know how long till the cow calves. But on the other side of things, with my interest in assisted reproductive techniques, I do want to hone my skills in the more complicated areas of bovine palpation- it seems like this class will be good towards that end. Plus, it will be nice to actually be around some cows again... academia is good to an extent, but this cow doctor wannabe does get a bit lonesome at times for that fresh country air and the sweet sounds of bovine eructation. We were discussing the development of the embryo in embryo transfer today. I found it amazing to see the rigid control of cell division that exists, with the maternal genome overseeing every single step of the process until the fetal genome is ready to assume the task. I was thinking to my self, if the old saying were true, that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", why would there ever be a need for maternal control? Clearly there are no "random processes" involved in the formation of the blastocyst, and clearly there were no random processes involved in the formation of life. In fact, to get back to the ontogeny end of things, if the carefully regulated transfer of developmental control from maternal to fetal supervision does not occur, the entire process stops, dead in the water, never to progress another step beyond the useless intermediate stage. Amazing. Enough random musings... enjoy your break (if you have one- there are some advantages to being a student I guess, lol). Till next week...

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