Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Of Teeth, Tongues, Angry Birds and "Sticky" Cells!

Raghav was in the bath this morning, sitting in a tub of water - another place (besides the potty!) where he usually gets a lot of inspiration! This time however it was a barrage of questions....he started off talking about his tooth which was shaking and then asked...

Why do our milk teeth fall out?
Why do we have milk teeth and permanent teeth?
Is there anyone who is born with no teeth?
What would it be like to have no teeth?

....and then he went on to list out all the sounds that he could not make without teeth, or which might sound different without teeth....and then he went on to the tongue....

What would it be like if one did not have a tongue?
We spoke about not being able to lick ice creams, make sounds like "la", "na", "ra" etc., take food that is stuck on our palette, or on our lips, and so on...

And then, he came out of the bath and said this: "Amma, the teeth are like the launcher and the water is like the angry bird...when the water (angry bird) reaches the steep slope of the teeth, it gets launched into the mouth and we drink it!" :) What a fun way to explain the process of drinking water!

We then went on to wonder about how wide the windpipe and food pipe would be, what makes the food go down the correct pipe, do we or can we breathe and eat at the same time and what was it that makes cells in our bodies "stick" together and not come apart! Whew! A long list of questions for which I did not know the answers you? We would love to hear your answers to these questions too!

But for now, we have jotted them down in our little question-book that we have, as they sometimes slip away from our memories...and yes, thank God for Google!

1 comment:

  1. We wrote to my sister who is plant molecular biologist and here is her reply....thought I should enlighten everyone who reads this post :) You can add your answers too as a comment....

    "What a clever question!

    You can tell him it is quite complicated but basically cells have their own architecture where they have something called extracellular matrix with a lot of proteins, which tend to stick to one another (in a very specific way). Different tissues in our body (like gut) have different specialised structures that enable them to stick - some even have "hairs" called cilia which enable this.

    Plant cells however are very different and have a cell wall - which animal cells do not - and the structure of walls is highly complex, with many sugars and proteins that form a mesh. This not only protects each cell but also allows one cell to stick to another, and they also have structures connecting one cell to another, therefore can communicate with one another.

    Without boring him too much, I hope this answers his fascinating question!"


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