Saturday, 17 March 2012

Happy Paddy's Day!

Or, Happy St Patrick's Day, if you are feeling more formal. Maybe even "St Pat's". But not Happy "St Patty's Day". Never "St Patty's Day"!! (No, I'm not Irish but having lived in Dublin for six years, I am pretty sure about this.) He's not a burger, he was a 5th Century Amazing Maurice (or, more accurately, Keith) of snakes. (You might need to be a Pratchett fan with a cursory knowledge of post-glaciation species distributions to get that one.)

That is almost my last word on the matter, other than to share this rather good and geeky St Patrick's Day YouTube song that is doing the rounds, combining two of my favourite things: beer and science. I like the fact that the singer looks like he's got in the spirit and had a jar or two before the performance. My only real criticism... it's not the black stuff in the glass.

SPOILER ALERT! Here are the lyrics:
In the year of our lord eighteen hundred and eleven
On March the seventeenth day
I will raise up a beer and I'll raise up a cheer
For Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Here's to brewers yeast, that humblest of all beast
Producing carbon gas reducing acetaldehyde
But my friends that isn't all -- it makes ethyl alcohol
That is what the yeast excretes and that's what we imbibe

Anaerobic respiration*
Also known as fermentation
NADH oxidation
Give me a beer


My intestinal wall absorbs that ethanol
And soon it passes through my blood-brain barrier
There's a girl in the next seat who I didn't think that sweet
But after a few drinks I want to marry her
I guess it's not surprising, my dopamine is rising
And my glutamate receptors are all shot
I'd surely be bemoaning all the extra serotonin
But my judgement is impaired and my confidence is not

Allosteric modulation
No Long Term Potentiation
Hastens my inebriation
Give me a beer


When ethanol is in me, some shows up in my kidneys
And inhibits vasopressin by degrees
A decrease in aquaporins hinders water re-absorption
And pretty soon I really have to pee
Well my liver breaks it down so my body can rebound
By my store of glycogen is soon depleted
And tomorrow when I'm sober I will also be hungover
Cause I flushed electrolytes that my nerves and muscles needed

Diuretic activation
Urination urination
Urination dehydration
Give me a beer


I also love the little disclaimer added by the author, cadamole, marked with the asterisk:
*Actually, this isn't true. While both anaerobic respiration and fermentation occur without the use of oxygen, anaerobic respiration utilizes the electron transport chain to generate ATP, while fermentation does not. My bad. I would have remembered that if I wasn't trying so hard to rhyme. A new corrected version is now up on my channel:
Dedication to accuracy such as this should really be rewarded, so go on... click on the link and give this guy some more views/likes. It's what St Patrick would have wanted.

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