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Hooray For NMR Spectroscopy

by Greg Crowther and Do Peterson


This song is a summary of NMR's many advantages as an experimental technique. The lyrics are based on Chapter 1 of my doctoral dissertation, "An analysis of metabolic fluxes in contracting skeletal muscle." The italicized lines are sung by someone who does not share the lead vocalist's enthusiasm for NMR.


I love my magnet; it measures molecules galore,
From fat and water to ATP and many more!
I scan live people! It's noninvasive; there's no mess!
Time resolution is several seconds, sometimes less!
But there are atoms you can't see.
The ones you can are enough for me!
Hooray for NMR spectroscopy!

I love my magnet; it gives me spectra full of peaks,
And, with a standard, I'll find the numbers that I seek.
Consider this case: peak A is twice the size of B.
If B's the standard, then you know A's molarity!
I don't like all this chemistry.
It's great for scientists like me!
Hooray for NMR spectroscopy!

Van Scoyoc steps up to the console,
And he's ready to go to work on the next patient.
This one's a 62-year-old white male with LOTS of adipose tissue --
Could be tricky.
Van Scoyoc gets the sign; he pushes the button;
The patient is in and here's the shim ... and it's good!
The crafty righthander extends his shimming streak
To 37 consecutive patients!
What a historic night this has been!

I love my magnet; it doesn't cause my subjects pain.
They'll gladly help me, sometimes without financial gain!
I scan their bodies -- or just one anatomic zone.
The coils and gradients let me choose muscle, brain, or bone!
Lying immobile ain't for me.
It's only for an hour or three!
Hooray for NMR spectroscopy!

That's the final scan of the evening,
Wrapping up another breakthrough for Van Scoyoc and his team.
From the University of Washington here in Seattle,
This is Greg Crowther saying good night.

Other Files

MP3 (by Science Groove)

sheet music