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Antibodies

by Greg Crowther


Context

A person's immunity can be subdivided into cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity. The latter includes antibodies, which are Y-shaped proteins that can bind to foreign antigens. This jingle, originally written for Biology 242 at UW-Bothell, provides a bit more detail on the structure of these Y-shaped proteins.

The howling in the chorus ("ah-oo!") was inspired by Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London."


Lyrics

Antibodies! They have four polypeptides...
Antibodies! Two heavy, two light.
Antibodies! All with variable segments...
Antibodies! To hold antigens tight.

Ah-oo! Confront your inner demons...
Ah-oo! As antibodies do!
Ah-oo! Their variable regions...
Ah-oo! Bind antigens in you!
Ah-oo!


Other Files

sheet music (with melody play-back)


Lesson Plan

Songs like this one can be used during class meetings and/or in homework assignments. Either way, the song will be most impactful if students DO something with it, as opposed to just listening.

An initial, simple follow-up activity could be to answer the study questions below. A more extensive interaction with the song might entail (A) learning to sing it, using the audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, or (B) designing kinesthetic movements ("dance moves") to embody it. The latter activity should begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.


Study Questions

(1) Draw a simple schematic picture of an antibody.

(2) Which cells of the immune system produce antibodies?

(3) Does each one of these cells produce a single type of antibody, or more than one type?

(4) In the context of this song, what are "your inner demons"?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)