All of us at the CPM would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

To get you into the spirit, with a bit of a CPM twist, here is a poem written by Junior Research Fellow Rachel Horton.

The Christmas Genome

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the lab
The equipment was quiet, the décor was drab
I was packing some samples into the fridge
Though actually it was a bit of a squidge

When from the machines there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter
The sequencer churned and it rumbled and whirred
It made so much data my eyes felt all blurred

It tried to print out near five million changes
Looking through the whole lot would have taken me ages
I grabbed for a filter and shoved it on quick
But not fast enough for the data to stick

I nervously checked on the sample ID
It was for Father Christmas – what sad news for me
I stared at the variants worried and stressed
What should I do? And what would be best?

He’d asked for a test for his tinsellitis
But the genome had answered a lot more besides this
Should I tell him a cancer gene looked a bit risky?
He might want some screening; cut down on the whisky?

And poor Mrs Claus: would she get neurosis
If she knew her husband carried cystic fibrosis?
It was a disaster – it all looked so bad
How was he alive with the variants he had?

I rang up a colleague: they said ‘that sounds rough!
Lets ask more opinions – this decision is tough’
So all of us met on a cold winter’s night
And talked it all through as to what would be right

Could we just ask him? Would he freak out?
Would we ruin his Christmas with this sorry handout?
And what would it mean for his job and his wife?
What might these findings do to his life?

It’s the night after Christmas and we still can’t decide
But we’re anxious and stressed and we really have tried
We’ve thought long and hard and we’ve tried to consult
But we still just don’t know – what is his result?

Rachel first shared this poem on her personal website here.