From Justin Bieber to genotypes

By Lucien Crowder, November 8, 2017

If you follow pop music, or have children who do, you’re all too familiar with “Despacito,” the smash summer hit by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi (featuring the rapper Daddy Yankee). Wikipedia describes “Despacito” as “a reggaeton-pop song composed in common time with lyrics about having a sexual relationship, performed in a smooth and romantic way.” That’s accurate. In the United States, the song is best known in a remixed version featuring Justin Bieber, the blond, bland Canadian.

But “Despacito” has new life on YouTube as “Evo-Devo (Despacito Biology Parody).” In this version—by someone named Tim Blais, AKA Acapella Science—we hear lyrics such as these:

From devo to evo, parts have alter egos

Homologs evolved from repeats in the schema

Switch a couple bases in the proper places

You’ll be watching flies grow legs out of their faces

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of that, but the song is good fun, and when it comes to popularizing science, this Blais guy might be on to something. (If you’re interested in the gene-editing technology Crispr, check out Blais’s parody of the 1954 hit “Mister Sandman.”)

As the coronavirus crisis shows, we need science now more than ever.

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