Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Whale barf and perfume!

I once wrote here about the importance of being able to wrap our thesis in a three minutes talk (just in case you meet an important donor or a related minister in an elevator). Well, PhDcomics had gone to the extreme and made a 'my thesis in two-minutes' competition. This cool two-minutes video on of Baillie Redfern's PhD thesis about ambergris (sperm whale barf) and perfume is one of the winners.

From the video info at YouTube:

Baillie Redfern from the U. of British Columbia explains her thesis of cloning DNA into yeast to produce an elusive perfume fixative compound called Ambergris. It involves whale barf. More videos at

Animation: Jorge Cham
Series Producer: Meg Rosenburg
Baillie's project is funded by PhytoMetaSyn, Genome BC/Alberta/Canada and NSERC.

Love her end tag: 'I'm just trying to change the world one Coco Chanel at a time'!

From the conservation viewpoint, I think ambergris is another good reason for conserving sperm whales. Dead sperm whales don't vomit ambergris!

By the way, I found another hillarious ambergris video!

So, whenever you're having a walk, take note. You might find ambergris!

Note on YouTube embedding in Blogger:

It seems to be the problem for new blogs that we (or at least I) cannot embed directly to a blog post.  I never had this problem with my old 2007 blog. Originally, I thought that I need the old embeded code (which worked for the Google Earth video I posted last week here). But apparently, the secret is this: embed the code in HTML mode, not 'compose' mode! I tried it with the new embeded code for the 2-min video, and it worked! The second video is using the old embeded code, and it worked too. But it has to be posted in HTML mode. Hope it helps!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and well done video...