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Biotech Battle of the Bands, Courtesy of YouTube

Roche may have hair that would turn Skid Row green with envy, but Bio-Rad's got moves that could teach John Travolta a thing or two.

If this makes no sense to you whatsoever, you're missing out on one heck of a hilarious battle. The players? Laboratory suppliers. The weapons? YouTube videos.

It started (as far as I can tell, but correct me if I'm wrong) early last year, when Bio-Rad Laboratories put out a "We Are the World" tribute extolling the virtues of PCR. According to the song, the DNA amplification technique is particularly useful not just for detecting mutations, but "when you need to find out who the daddy is."

The video was picked up by the WSJ Health Blog and widely circulated... inspiring Bio-Rad's competitors in the life science tools space to up the ante.

Around mid-2008, Eppendorf responded with a video in which a meterosexual boy band attempts to woo a female scientist with a love song about EpMotion, a line of automated pipetting systems. Not to be left out, Agilent Technologies produced the strange yet catchy ode to mass spectrometry, "Reach that Peak."

This year, Bio-Rad re-established its dominance with a Village People knock-off, "GTCA." The pee-your-pants funny promo for Bio-Rad's SsoFast PCR enzyme mix sparked a new dance craze among scientists:


If anyone can knock Bio-Rad off the top of the YouTube charts, it just might be Roche. The battle of the bands newcomer launched two Headbanger's Ball-style music videos about its xCELLigence cellular analysis system. The Def Leppard-Poison-Warrant-White Lion-esque theme song and power ballad will make you want to pull out your Bic lighter and beg for an encore. (Hat tip to the In Vivo blog for finding these).

Any predictions on what's next? I'm thinking hip hop....

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