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Wait a second … Dad? Is that you dancing there?

This 20-minute long educational video “Protein Synthesis: An Epic on the Cellular Level”, was made in 1971, and has since become a classic to generations of high-school and college science students.The dance event was filmed on an open field at Stanford University. Most of the dancers are ordinary biology students while a few are trained dancers. The narrator is the later Nobel prize winner in chemistry Paul Berg (1980), who explains the protein synthesis in a short prologue that also introduces the “collective players”, including a 30s ribosome, mRNA, and an initiator factor. Enjoy — and remember this in 26 years ago!
The comments that follow the YouTube release are almost as interesting as the video itself, ranging from amused fascination to outrage and disgust (some people just seem to hate anything that has the slightest association with the hippie generation). I think it is worthwhile viewing it as a document of “biomedicine on display” in the very far past.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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