The next top model…organism

Collage.png

TIR examines some paragons of experimental pulchritude, to the tune of the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive”…

Music starts, the six contestants enter and sing verses in turn.

(Drosophila melanogaster and Mus musculus)
Well you can tell from the way we breed so fast,
We’re genetic tools, and here to last;
Virgin flies, and Cre-Lox lines,
Generating crosses don’t take much time;
And our behaviour’s cool, we’ve stem cells too,
You can track just what they do;
And we can try, to understand,
If it has any link to man.
Use us for your assays,
Or put us in a rat maze,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab;
Map our brain cells totally,
And stimulate our circuitry,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab;
Ah, ha, ha, we just,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab.
Ah, ha, ha, we just,
Stay in the lab.

(Danio rerio and Caenorhabditis elegans)
Well now, we’re more fit for imaging,
So transparent you can’t miss a thing.
Put us right onto a slide,
And watch each of our cells divide.
RNAi, Morpholinos too,
Test our genes for what they do.
And we can try, to understand,
If there is any link to man.
Developmental pathways,
Maturity in three days,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab.
Microscopy on live cells,
Motility and swimming tails,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab.
Ah, ha, ha, we just,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab.
Ah, ha, ha, we just,
Stay in the lab.

(Enter Arabidopsis, gatecrashing the contest)
I’m also out here, somebody use me,
Somebody use me yeah.
Just floral dip me, or let me self-breed
I love to self-breed yeah
(No one pays any attention. Arabidopsis exits in a huff.)

(Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Xenopus laevis)
Well I’m so small and her eggs are so round,
We pack a lot of protein in every pound.
Lyse us and then centrifuge,
To fractionate what you will use.
Migs per mil are easy too,
And TAP tags are pulled down like glue.
And we can try, to understand,
If there is any link to man.
Fully sequenced genome,
and systems interactome,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab;
MPF and cyclins,
Still the best for cell-free things,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab.
Ah, ha, ha, we just,
Stay in the lab, stay in the lab.
Ah, ha, ha, we just,
Stay in the lab.

(Re-enter Arabidopsis, disguised as a (diploid) Strawberry)
How ’bout strawberry? I’m not some cress weed,
Just take some of my seeds
I’m more important, ‘cos I’m a crop plant
Oh, I’m a crop plant yeah…

Just stay in the lab…

————————————————————–

Some historical context: This was originally a musical number in the 2011 Vienna Biocenter Christmas play (song suggestion by Pedro Serrano Drozdowskyj), and a big and nostalgic thanks to the original contestants and the hostess – Jen Boots, Martina Doetsch, Heather Esson, Anton Kamnev, Anne Nielsen, Sabina Sanegre Sans, Juliane Tinter, and Sandra Vidak. The inclusion of the strawberry was due to a particularly enthusiastic presentation by Kevin Folta (U. Florida) in that year’s VBC PhD Symposium on unconventional model organisms. The date explains why there’s no mention of CRISPR in the lyrics.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s