its nice to alt spliceWell, I’ve only gone and made a music-video on ‘Alternative Spicing’, haven’t I. It had set out to be a bit of an homage to Scottish band Aberfeldy’s brilliant song/video ‘Tom Weir‘, with the lyrics modified to try to explain, in a fun and un-complicated way, a post-transcriptional gene expression mechanism called Alternative Splicing.  Anyway, hopefully I’ve achieved a little bit of the latter, but somehow along the way the indie-folk Aberfeldy vibe morphed into a kind of late 1980’s Simple Minds synth feel, finishing up with an Ibiza-rave themed finale.

I’d wanted to showcase some research that I do, and thought it’d be quite fun to try a song – so I gave GarageBand a go, and together with a few bits of guitar, and playing around with words and images on iMovie, came up with the final version – it’s posted, here, on our research group blog. I had originally tried adding some vocals but just adding text on the video was way better – I am, unfortunately, no Jim Kerr

Anyway, I’m particularly proud of the lyric ‘It’s Nice to Alt Splice‘ – surely a contender for an Ivor Novello award, no? I found the whole exercise to be very useful – from learning the basics of GarageBand and iMovie – to also just trying to distill what I do down to the very basic and easily digested nuggets of information. As scientists, we are increasingly being encouraged to try to explain our work to anyone who might be in the slightest bit interested, from school kids to government policy makers. I think that this is very difficult for scientists – as they themselves are also often grappling with what they are doing. Even just to say the very banal – ‘It’s Nice-2-Alt Splice’ – is simple, fun and liberating – we can discuss the complicated bits another time, yeah?!

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