Tired of singing Happy Birthday to count to 20 while washing your hands? Try singing the amino acids instead! Amino acids are protein letters. There are 20 common ones – perfect for 1s (on average) singing! And their different unique properties make them perfect for giving different proteins their different “superpowers.” You can learn more about them here: http://bit.ly/aminoacidalphabet 

And, now, you can even learn more about them in wait for it….. Italian! thanks to a generous translator, Micol Bonetti, a medical student in her second year of bachelor studies at the University of Lausanne (Université de Lausanne) in the French part of Switzerland.

Micol reached out to me to see if I needed someone to translate my Covid-19 test explanation post into Italian – speaking of which, thank you to my almost 2 dozen translators who are helping people around the world understand how PCR-based Covid-19 tests work. You can now find information on 14 languages here: https://bit.ly/covid19bbresources with more in the works. It is so awesome how that idea took off! 

Anyways, Micol was too late – I had already gotten 3 Italian translators after a Twitter ask!Serena Tucci, a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton studying human evolutionary genetics and population history (and soon starting her own lab at Yale), translated the text.  And two fellow PhD students at Heidelberg University worked together to translate the figures:  Federica Fiorentino works on drug discovery and structural biology in cancer and ribosome biogenesis, and Chiara DiPonzio uses systems biology to understand pancreatic cancer. So I had the Italian Covid-19 translation well covered – you can find it here: https://bit.ly/italianaminoacids 

But Micol was sooo eager to help so I thought, well if you really wanna… and sent her a few of my biochemistry basics slides and she came back quickly with beautifully translated graphics, for which I am super grateful. You can find these graphics here: https://bit.ly/italianaminoacids 

Thanks again to Micol, all the other translators, and the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB). Now, more than ever, as we face an international (and biochemistry-related) crisis, I am incredibly grateful to be able to serve as Student Ambassador for the IUBMB, whose president-elect Dr. Alexandra Newton has helped me recruit translators and share the translated versions around the world. This post was just one in my series of weekly “Bri*fings from the Bench” 

more on topics mentioned (& others) #365DaysOfScience All (with topics listed) 👉 http://bit.ly/2OllAB0 

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