This parody (written by Greg Crowther) is sung to the tune of
Doug Fieger and Burton Averre
and performed by
This song outlines the molecular mechanisms by which muscle cells contract. The major players include calcium, troponin, tropomyosin, actin, and myosin.
Ooh my little filaments, filaments --
Actin and myosin myofibrils:
Proteins that are long and dense, long and dense,
Making up the structure of the myofibrils.
Signal from the brain rides the nerve to the muscle,
Where the myosin inside will slide past the actin of the
My-my-my-y-y, woo! Muh-muh-muh-myofibrils.
Add a little calcium, calcium
To the cytoplasm near the myofibrils.
It will turn troponin on, troponin on,
Causing the contraction of the myofibrils.
Muscles need energy, energy,
Most of which is needed by the myofibrils.
Myosin burns ATP, ATP
Fueling the contractions of the myofibrils.
• MP3 (by Science Groove)
• music video
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.
(1) Which of the following is a synonym for a muscle cell: muscle, muscle fiber, myofibril, or myosin?
(2) As noted in the chorus, electrical signals originating in the brain are delivered to muscles. Which specific cells deliver these signals to muscle cells?
(3) In your own words, explain what is meant by the line, "It will turn troponin on ... causing the contraction of the myofibrils."
(4) The song points out that myosin burns ATP. What is the OTHER major consumer of ATP within contracting muscle cells?
(Answers may be found on the answers page.)