There are no words to describe how awesome this is. You just have to watch it:
This is The Gibson Assembly song, written by the Cambridge iGEM team 2010. If you can't see it, want it in a higher resolution or just want the link to share, find it here.
The technique they are describing is the "Gibson Assembly" which is a fairly quick and painless way of joining two bits of DNA. In more sciency terms, it works by using PCR to make genes with large overlaps (40bp) at the end. You add a Master Mix to the fragments, incubate for one hour, then just transform into whatever cell you're using. For more details of how it works go here, for the recipe of the Master Mix and detailed protocol go here, and for a program to help you design Gibson Primers, go here.
The video was just made for fun, and took less than a week to put together (not counting the time to write the words!). Filming was done mostly over one day, using one camera and a slightly broken tripod, just using spaces in the lab and the gel room. The green-screen sections were done by throwing a green table cloth over some poster display boards. The music was recorded seperately, and I think each instrument was recorded seperately as well, to get the sound balance right. It was all carried out by about nine undergraduates (and one lab rat!) and massively confused most of the supervisors.
I'm already starting to see some replies and responses to this, the most popular ones seem to be variations on the "why aren't you doing any real work!?!" and "How do you have the time with all your Science!" And given that there's been a lot of kurfluffle in the blogosphere lately about science, time spent doing science and the connection of both with Passion for science I suppose I should address this...
The undergrads who made this video had been working all summer, pretty much starting two weeks after term finished. They worked weekends. They worked evenings. At the time of doing the video, they'd worked several weeks over their stipend and had long ago stopped being paid.
Now their term has started, and they are still coming in to work, in between lectures, in between their own projects. They also have to prepare a presentation and a poster over the next month, all in between their term work. And terms here are manic; eight weeks of non-stop craziness that it's hard to fit anything into.
It was just a quick few days of Fun, in between the Science. :D
Carl Djerassi (1923-2015): Chemist, writer, polymath, cultural icon
16 hours ago in The Curious Wavefunction