Gluco$e…Like Ke$ha

I hate Biochemistry. I am not good at it – I never have been and I likely never will be. It is horribly mundane and nit-picky and I harbor a certain degree of hatred for it simply because I am so bad at it. In fact, during my first semester of medical school when I was taking Biochem, I was relatively certain the admissions committee had accepted me purely for the sadistical pleasure of following along as I lost my frickin’ mind. At the time I wasn’t even entirely positive that I wasn’t the main player in some twisted social experiment built on the medical student version of The Truman Show. However, today a great professor from our school was finally able to put biochem into some terms I could understand. 

“Gluco$e is currency. Like Ke$ha.”

“Gluco$e is money. Glycogen is money in your wallet. If you have too much in there it’ll hurt your ass when you sit down, so you put it in the bank as fatty acids. You don’t want all your money in the bank, though – if you have that much currency it should be working for you…so you put it in a 401k as amino acids. You can get to the Glycogen in your wallet quick, but you have to go the ATM to get fatty acids out and it takes a little longer. You don’t have immediate access to amino acids because they’re busy doing another job, but after a while they will finish and you can turn them back into gluco$e if you need to.” 

I wish someone had made glycolysis that simple while I was drowning in catabolism vs. anabolism during our biochem block last year…I also wish that paragraph literally summed up even half of what we need to know about cellular gluco$e banking.

Other pearls from today’s lecture: 

  • John Elway has 2,3-Bisphosphoglycerate to thank for his multiple 4th quarter comebacks and apparently above average number wins at home.
  • Don’t tell the parents unless they ask: 
I have three more 7 hour lecture days in this review series, so I’m sure I’ll have a couple more high points to share with you guys by the middle of next week.

In the mean time, share your favorite nerdy medical memorization tools. 
  • Do you prefer mnemonics like the “MOPS” of S. pneumoniae or “Some Lovers Try Positions They Can’t Handle” for the carpal bones?
  • Do you make goofy pictures and flow charts?
  • Are you such a gunner you sleep with your book as a pillow and absorb algorithms of gram-positive vs. gram-negative bacteria while you sleep?

If you have a picture of your flow charts/drawings/graphs (I posted a few of mine here) I would LOVE to see them! Seriously! Share!

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  1. C

    Haha those are great! I'm doing DIT and they have these silly right brain bonus things a couple times per lecture- it's more the skit that makes you remember, not the mneumonic. Which review course are you doing?


  2. The Hills

    Oh, I love that!! Yay for finally getting it! I don't have any nerdy medical acronyms… That's probably why the medical field didn't work out for me.. lol 🙂


  3. Christopher Bayne

    Now we have to derive a mnemonic / way to remember ethanol metabolism to the tune of, "Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack …"


  4. Brittany Chan

    I mostly make up dances to remember my stuff. Or act things out. I'm a strange learner. lol.

    There are too many "MOPS"-like mnemonics by this point to keep them straight, but I hope I can hold onto them for the next month. I like how First Aid thinks I'll be able to remember "ABCDE" for like, 3 things. lol


  5. Kimmy

    Ok, I seriously love that explanation of glucose. I drew out diagrams of cellular respiration and photosynthesis for my freshman Bio class last semester, and I think that may have been one of the most successful things I did all year. Diagrams are great! 🙂


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