What do you do when your lab results are perplexing and contradict or add a new element to a finding you thought you already had sewn up? Today's video shares (and maybe celebrates) that frustration of those who've experienced this!
Perhaps you recall a very catchy tune and animated video about life in the lab I covered in the post Ph. Diddy is on the scene! An Animated Music Video for Biotech Lab Work
From the same group at Life Technologies Corporation comes the second installment called "Ph.Diva and the Mystery Band". Let's watch!
Andrew Green (@andrewjgreen on twitter) has been in charge of this series of videos about cell and molecular biology research and gives us an idea of what it takes to make a video that accurately captures life in the lab:
"Our inspiration for telling these stories comes from a shared fascination for science. As with the Ph.Diddy video, the Ph.Diva video is a tribute to all the dedicated and hard working every-day-heroes of science – male and female! We wanted to capture the dynamics in a lab, and the ups and downs that all who have worked in a lab will recognize. We salute the efforts they all put in - and we share their passion for science!
We put a lot of effort into two things:
1) getting the story right
2) getting all the details, details and details right.
April Brite, (aka the Ph.Diva) is one of the many brilliant and experienced scientists out there and a well-respected Postdoc. To create the story and the lyrics, we first whiteboarded her journey, the emotions she would go through. She is thrilled when her abstract is picked for an oral presentation, and starts preparing her presentation. When everything does not go exactly as planned, we see and hear how she meets frustrations, anticipation, fascination and determination. Will she make it in time for her conference? These are emotions and situations that those who have been in science have experienced and can identify with – including ourselves (many Life Technologies marketing people have a scientific background, some even have a Ph.D). We also included a few of our own R&D staff in the story-making. The song was recorded, and the audio file sent to the animators.
We work with an external partner for the actual animation artwork, but we are basically the art director and executive producers ourselves. They got the lyrics in a word document, sprinkled with tons of notes explaining the emotions and stages she’d go through, and how the different scenes would typically play out. Like a link to a video on YouTube showing how to lift a microtiterplate out from the PCR-machine. Or a link to an image of how a PCR-gel or a qPCR result, a primer sequence and a pre-PCR lab actually look. Along with explanation on stuff like the conference abstract submission process and the concept of being picked for and prepare an oral presentation etc etc. We were happy to see how they were able to take this detailed input and work all the details into the video!
Because of the careful preparation and the detailed art directing, most of this was relatively smooth sailing. One thing we did have for the animators to understand, was how the dynamics between the Ph.Diva and the PI is different from the one we saw with Ph.Diddy and the PI in the previous video. And how an unexpected and rather suspect scientific result can turn out to be a good thing that can actually advance science further!
We are already working on the next music video in the series, this time featuring both Ph.Diddy and Ph.Diva. And a fourth one is also being planned – stay tuned!"
Image is screenshot of a thumbnail from youtube video