Thursday, January 10, 2008

The PCR song

This video is so nerdy. I love it! Watch the guy who sings "Denaturing, annealing and extending"-- he must actually know what he's singing because his hand gestures are illustrating each word.

The PCR Song

There was a time when to amplify DNA
You had to grow tons and tons of tiny cells.

Then along came a guy named Dr. Kary Mullis,
Said you can amplify in vitro just as well.

Just mix your template with a buffer and some primers,
Nucleotides and polymerases too.

Denaturing, annealing and extending.
Well it's amazing what heating and cooling and heating will do.

PCR, when you need to detect mutations.
PCR, when you need to recombine.
PCR, when you need to find out who the daddy is.
PCR, when you need to solve a crime.

(repeat chorus)

Practice of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) may require a license.

In my current job I use PCR mostly to make probes; in my old job I did a lot of QPCR to determine how many genetically engineered cells remained in a patient's blood. Once I thought it would be really cool to be one of those crime lab techs who uses PCR to solve crimes, but when I studied the job openings on the LAPD's website, it appeared that such techs have to gather their own samples-- that is, they have to go out to the crime scene, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes with the dead body right there, and try to collect DNA... yeah, I wasn't feeling that brave.

1 comment:

Eanah said...

Oh my gosh, that completely cracked me up. I loved the PCR machine sort of crowd surfing at the end there. And the "Who's your daddy?" echo during the chorus. Very silly. Thanks for sharing!

As far as the LAPD job, yeah, there's no way I'd be that brave either. Yikes. I may watch a crime show on TV, but there's no way I could handle the real thing!