Chemistry Ph.D. thesis explained via dance routine

Today, you're going to learn about "Selection of a DNA aptamer for homocysteine using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment". Better yet, it's going to make sense, because Maureen McKeague—a chemistry Ph.D. candidate at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada—turned her complicated thesis into an easy-to-follow dance routine.

It's part of the third annual Dance Your Ph.D. competition put on by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. McKeague's video is one of this years' four finalists, and my personal favorite of the bunch. To me, McKeague did the best job of making her Ph.D. dance make sense without having read the Ph.D. Plus, I love her depiction of how a Taq Polymerase chain reaction makes copies of DNA.

You can view the other finalists and vote for your favorite, or see all 45 of the 2010 entries


  1. I normally wouldn’t do this, but OTTAWA is the capital of Canada. I am actually writing this from Carleton University’s campus. I can imagine my thesis could have a pretty sweet dance (guidance systems of planetary rovers). Think WALL-E + EVE?

  2. i wonder why they used the remake versions of the songs. Some of them were passable (the Supremes and Gaga) while others (Safety Dance, Another One Bites the Dust) were painful.

  3. It’s pretty darn good, but it’s no “Resolving Pathways of Functional Coupling in Human Hemoglobin Using Quantitative Low Temperature Isoelectric Focusing of Asymmetric Mutant Hybrids”. Now *that’s* a classic in the field of organic chemistry interpretive dance.

Comments are closed.