by Greg Crowther
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."
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!
• sheet music (with melody play-back)
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 an audio file and/or sheet music as a guide, and/or (B) illustrating it with pictures, bodily poses, and/or bodily movements. The latter activity could begin with students identifying the most important or most challenging content of the song, and deciding how to illustrate that particular content.
(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.)