Punctuated equilibrium of my blog ... and a look at an old science rap

Well, with my new role in PLoS Biology as Academic Editor in Chief, I had planned to start blogging more about PLoS and PLoS Biology. And I will. However, I am going to have to do a half effort on this for at least a week or two as I have a lovely ailment called trigger finger which is making typing rather awkward. So in lieu of a detailed blog I simply have to make a brief comment on one of the articles in this months issue

The article in which I am interested is a nice primer on mutational meltdown in mammalian mitochondrial genomes by Dave Rand. This is in relation to a paper by Stewart et al. in this issue. But enough about science. For those who do not know, Dave Rand published what I believe was the first rap in a scientific article. In an article in Genetics he presented a rap about repeat induced point mutation (something known as RIPPING). This RAP about RIPPING I think was presented at the Evolution meeting in Berkeley (I think I was at the talk where he did the RAP but I am not sure --- I could have, like Andy Pettite, misremembered the whole thing).

And well, here it is:
Yo! you’ve got my DNA and you think it is a-RIPping,
Your dog is so excited her saliva is a-dripping,
She seems to think the polymerase is doing some a-skipping,
But then again, you never know, she might just be a-quipping.
Are you sure induction by repeats did make it happen?
If it’s just associated, why not call it RAPpin’?
What motifs are necessary to keep the strands a-snappin’?
I don’t know and I don’t care, but something did some zappin’.


  1. Am I allowed to use street language??

    That is freaking awesome.

    A relevant and poignant rap contained in a scientific Paper in 1992...


  2. I know ... and I wish I could remember if I was there or if I just heard about it ... I have this vague memory of seeing him do the rap but am not sure.

  3. From 13 years ago or so, here is Give me your DNA
    uploaded a few months ago with a CC.

    I did not and do still not know much about DNA, but I really enjoyed composing and singing this back then.