sga au

fic snippet: Take 2 Every 4 to 6 Hours [sga au]

More of John and Rodney in college. Because I am sick and can't bring myself to concentrate on homework for more than about ten minutes at a time. (I mean--sea urchins. Not the most interesting topic, y'know?)


When Rodney has a bad day, he takes it out on the world at large—stomps and glowers, snaps at people when they offer sympathy, huffs when they don’t. John usually deals with this by handing Rodney a mug of hot chocolate (the good kind, which Rodney loves more than coffee, although he’d never admit it), sticking the (by now somewhat scratchy) tape of The Goldberg Variations into their (technically John’s) beat-up tape player, and then sitting back to let the combination work its magic. After five minutes, Rodney’s gone from ranting about the ineptitude of the TA (who shouldn’t be allowed to teach guppies, let alone the impressionable young undergrads, even if they aren’t much more intelligent than the guppies would be) to grumbling about Glenn Gould’s interpretation of Bach and insistence on singing along, even though it’s a piano solo.

Rodney’s pretty easy to handle, if you know how. He’s well aware of this—has become so after months of watching John do the job. For some reason he's not as upset by that as he thinks he should be.

John’s less easy. Where Rodney opens up, cuts loose when he’s tired and frustrated, John shuts down. Rodney’s only just begun to be able to even tell when John’s had a bad day. He’s yet to figure out how to help John feel better—which is John’s own damn fault for always being so close-mouthed about anything personal. But he tries. He hands John painkillers when John rubs his eyes like he’s got a headache, waxes eloquent on all the inaccuracies in the latest SF offering from John’s uncle when John’s staring at his homework despairingly, drags John out to pizza because the dining hall food only ever makes things worse.

It doesn’t always work. Sometimes John’s funk just takes another downward turn and Rodney’s babbling tapers off, and they’re left picking at their pepperoni-and-mushroom in silence. But sometimes it does work, and Rodney is rewarded by John’s smile, the real one, the one that doesn't look like it could possibly be real but somehow is.

Until Rodney met John, he hadn’t thought it was possible for someone’s face to actually light up.
Your icon makes me smile. ^_^


"...the experiments offer us the first exact indications about the role of the nucleus in ontogenesis by the certainty with which they permit us to ascribe the disturbances of development exclusively to the chromosomes. It appears that the initial steps up to the blastula stage are independent of the quality of nuclear substance, even though it is essential that the nuclear substance be of a kind capable of existing in the egg."

Er, sorry.

What Boveri is claiming in this paper--if I understand correctly--is that fertilizing eggs twice screws up the distribution of the substance that forms chromosomes, so the eggs can't develop properly into baby sea urchins. It's not the number of chromosomes that matters (within certain limits, obviously), it's how they're distributed among the dividing cells. As long as that distribution is unaffected, you can mess around with the eggs in other ways and still get (more or less) normal sea urchins.

I think.
0_o That animation bit is a little freaky.

Boveri's question is why does polyspermy (which really is a fun word to say--as are most words with two Y's in them, I find) result in non-viable embryos. I think. And his conclusion is that it's all about the chromosomes.

I always want to spell "chromosome" with an N. Chromosones. Apparently that's wrong.
Awww, that's lovely. I'm glad you abandoned your sea urchins to write this.