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Monday, August 23, 2010

Retrofitted videos

I have been introduced to some interesting videos that feature movies or music videos for entertainment that others have retrofitted to discuss science. I think this is very difficult to do well, but many people have given it a try in order to make science fun and interesting.

 First, I'd like to introduce you to some videos produced by Jim Hutchins at Weber State University who likens the interactions of various immune system cells to the interactions of high school students!

 You might notice that the girls are the T cells and the boys are the B cells. He put this in two parts. Take a look:



Not too bad, if you ask me. Especially entertaining if you've seen the movie! I laughed at the part where kissing is used to highlight MHC sampling. MHC is an abbreviation for Major Histocompatability Complex, and, simply, is a way for cells to recognize if a cell belongs to the same organism or another one. Here is a great article by ScienceGeekGirl about the chemistry of kissing that explains all about it! If that information interests you, you might want to keep in mind that Sheril Kirshenbaum has a book coming out early next year called "The Science of Kissing" and I will definitely keep you posted on the release of that book.

The iGEM team (International Genetic Engineering Machinery) from TU Delft University retrofitted several videos to highlight a coupld of techniques used in genetic engineering and synthetic biology, namely ligating DNA and transforming a bacterial cell. It's called Popstars go BIOTECH

 

When a scientist adds new DNA to a bacteria to hopefully convince it to do something else, like create insulin, or to glow green, it is called "transforming". And sometimes molecular biologists need to put several pieces of DNA together to make a new sequence and that is called "ligation".

I hope you enjoyed these videos and learned a little something, too!


Until next time,

Kindly, Joanne

Mon, August 23, 2010 | link 


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