A response to an inquiry forwarded from China

I am intrigued by emails I get from China seeking employment–what search algorithm connected me with the inquirer? I forwarded one to a brother-in-law, a jokester who likes word puzzles. His response below, after which is appended the inquiry, made me feel guilty that my forwarded email led him to spend time and mental energy, but the result is quite wonderful, I think (and brought to mind the love poem in Cyberiad).

Dear Dr. Xx,

I have been asked by Dr. Taylor of the U. of Mass in Boston
To respond to your application without getting myself lost in
The foliage of your verbiage
Like a cat inside a bird cage
Battling with your wordage to a state of extreme exhaustion.

Mammalian embryo engineering and in vitro maturation
Roll off the tongue like love notes in delirious infatuation
Or is it some slight oversight
That I kissed the bovine oocyte
Or a K2.9 gene that gives cashmere goats such consternation?

Truthfully, the histone acetylation of golden hamster embryos
Begins in their medulla oblongatas and trickles to their toes
So fertilize your mice
With a culture that is nice
An intracytoplasmic sperm injection make rhapsodically passionate prose.

To conclude: hacking through your letter’s thicket with the patience of a saint
Made me realize with painful in vitro micromanipulation that what you think I am I ain’t
I am not a warrior or a sailor
An academic like Professor Taylor
I am simply – in somatic cell nuclear transfer terms – a manufacturer of paint.

Sincerely yours,
Aaron Deaf


Dear Dr. Taylor,

I’m seeking for the postdoctorate position to pursue further research. I am a PhD coming from China with specialty in embryology. I graduated from Nanjing Agriculture University in Mammalian Embryo Engineering with a Doctor’s degree in 2008. Now I am teaching the courses of reproductive biology and cell biology in Jilin Medical College.

Since I was an undergraduate, I have participated in the research of in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes. Through the embryology related study of twelve years, now I am good at the in-vitro micromanipulation of oocytes or embryos, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, somatic cell nuclear transfer, pronuclei microinjection, etc. Once I had constructed a great number of Cashmere goat embryos carrying K2.9 gene by transgenic somatic cell nuclear transfer technology. Finally, five live transgenic goats were born. Meanwhile, I am skilled in mouse in vitro fertilization and in vitro embryo culture. The high development rate of mouse in vitro fertilization embryos can be achieved by proficient manipulation. Although I have a better job in my country, I still think my study level needs to be futher enhanced. I greatly value abroad well-equipped labs and good teamwork. All these will definitely do good for me to gain more academic achievements. I hope I will become a specialist in the field of embryology through working in your lab for 2 years.

During my work in China, I was the principal investigator of two projects, which are mainly about in vitro development of golden hamster embryos and mouse embryos. Golden hamster oocytes is very useful experiment material to be used to test the sperm penetration ability of the eggs. So golden hamster is one of good animal model in reproduction. We found the severe in vitro development arrest of golden hamster embryos, not as mouse embryos. Moreover, we think the histone acetylation of golden hamster embryos plays a vital role in in vitro development arrest of golden hamster embryos. This the first report about the changes of histone acetylation of golden hamster arrested embryos. Though teaching and research of six years, I have acquired not only a theoretical knowledge of the Embryology, but also considerable work experience combined with a deep insight into the Embryo Engineering in China. So far I have published 19 articles in international and national journals as a result of my research into the developments for the IVF embryos, the ICSI embryos and SCNT embryos in China. I am an enterprising, creative and capable individual with the demonstrated capacity to do further research. Therefore I am confident I fully meet the requirements of your current research projects. I shall be glad to furnish you with any further information concerning my education and professional experience.

Attached is my updated CV. I appreciate your review of my application and your consideration and look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,


Department of Histology and Embryology             

Jilin Medical College


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