miscellaneous slide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nirenberg Concerto

by Greg Crowther


Context

Marshall Warren Nirenberg was awarded a share of the 1968 Nobel Prize for his experiments (with J. Heinrich Matthaei and others) which clarified the nature of the genetic code, by which ribosomes translate mRNA codons into amino acids. This song was written for the 8th-grade students at St. John Catholic School in Seattle. It is not a parody, but is slightly reminiscent of the songs "Hard to Handle" (the Black Crowes) and "Sheep Go To Heaven" (Cake).


Lyrics

Nirenberg. (Can you crack...)
Marshall Warren Nirenberg! (Can you crack the code?)
Nirenberg. (Can you crack...)
Marshall Warren Nirenberg! (Can you crack the code?)

From bases . . . to amino acids.
From UUU . . . to phenylalanine.
From bases . . . to amino acids.
From mRNA . . . to a new protein!

Nirenberg. (Can you crack...)
Marshall Warren Nirenberg! (Can you crack the code?)
Nirenberg. (Can you crack...)
Marshall Warren Nirenberg! (Can you crack the code?)
Nirenberg!


Other Files

karaoke

MP3 (demo; by the Zelcro Family Singers)

sheet music (with melody play-back)


Study Questions

(1) What is meant by the phrase "from bases ... to amino acids"?

(2) What technical advances allowed Nirenberg to begin cracking the genetic code?

(3) What is the significance of the phrase "from UUU ... to phenylalanine"?

(Answers may be found on the answers page.)