A Blaze of Glory
by Greg Crowther
This song outlines the body's response to viruses, focusing on the fact that separate mechanisms are needed to battle viruses in their extracellular state (Verse 1) and in their intracellular state (Verse 2).
Virus, floating outside your cells --
This threat antibodies counter well.
Oh, neutralize, opsonize, precipitate it too;
The ECF will soon be clear of particles the phagocytes chew!
And the virus goes down down down down ... in a blaze of glory!
Down down down down ... in a blaze of glory!
Virus hiding inside your cells --
This threat antibodies cannot quell.
Oh, apoptosis terminates infected cells like these,
Promoted by the NKs or the cytotoxic T's!
• music video (by Derek Walker)
• 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) Can some copies of a virus exist inside cells while other copies are outside cells?
(2) What are antibodies, and which cells make them?
(3) Three of the consequences of antibodies binding to a virus are neutralization, opsonization, and precipitation. What's the difference between these things?
(4) What is the meaning of the phrase "this threat antibodies cannot quell"?
(5) Which infected cells are most likely to be destroyed by cyctotoxic T cells, rather than NK cells?
(6) Is inflammation a normal consequence of a viral infection? Is that alluded to in the lyrics?
(7) Considering the specific content covered by this song, is there anything important that is missing, unclear, or misleading? If so, what??
(Answers may be found on the answers page.)