What’s the opposite of a didgeridoo?

Apparently, it’s an eppendorf pipette. If you aren’t a science nerd, an eppendorf pipette is one of the ubiquitous tools of molecular biology — it’s a calibrated gadget for dispensing minute quantities of liquids.

Eppendorf is now selling an automated pipettor called epMotion … and judging by the promotional video and music, it’s also intended to raise estrogen levels. Don’t watch it unless you want to be emasculated!

(The tune is rather catchy. I’m suddenly in the mood to cuddle.)

epMotion Song

Pipetting all those well-plates, baby, sends your thumbs into overdrive
And spending long nights in the lab makes it hard for your love to thrive

What you need is automation, girl, something easy as 1 2 3
So put down that pipette, honey, I got something that will set you free

And it’s called epMotion (whisper: ’cause you deserve something really great)
Girl you need epMotion (whisper: yeah girl it’s time to automate)
It’s got to be epMotion (whisper: no more pipetting late at night)
Only for you epMotion (whisper: girl this time we got it right)

Cell Cultures
Less reagents
Faster workflow
Saves you money
Well, well, well

And it’s called epMotion (whisper: ’cause you deserve something really great)
Girl you need epMotion (whisper: yeah girl it’s time to automate)
It’s got to be epMotion (whisper: no more pipetting late at night)
Only for you epMotion (whisper: girl this time we got it right)


  1. Sili says

    I did once ponder using some of the nifty automated equipment the proteïn (heh) people have for some small-molecule crystallisations, but I never got anywhere with it. Didn’t know anyone who actually had the machines so that I could play around with them before trying to talk someone into buying one.

    Ah well.

  2. clinteas says

    I can honestly say,in 10 years of watching bland promo medical videos at conferences etc,this is at the same time the most ridiculous,and most hilarious science gadget promo vid i’ve ever seen. LOL

  3. David Windhorst says

    What’s the opposite of didgeridoo?


    Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  4. Jason says

    the PCR song by Bio Rad is pretty awesome – I think it preceded epMotion and Eppendorf just ran with the idea. Both are very funny…

  5. raven says

    What’s the opposite of didgeridoo?

    Too easy. If didgeridoo’s make girls infertile then….

    Abstinence Only Sex Education. Ask Palin’s daughter how that works.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Women need to be warned that use of an epMotion, and the presumed knowledge of science that it signifies, may disqualify them for national political offices.

  7. Senritsu says

    If you aren’t a science nerd, an eppendorf pipette is one of the ubiquitous tools of molecular biology

    And what is an eppendorf pipette if you are a science nerd?

    Hey, don’t blame me – I didn’t start the lame jokes…

  8. Jason says

    That’s two hip-hop/rap science music videos I’ve seen this week. Consider my quota gleefully exceeded.

  9. Tlowe says

    This popped up on Reddit over the summer, and I was thoroughly amused by it. However, the complete submissiveness of the science chick really irked me–why does she have to look away/down in every shot?

  10. says

    I think I’m glad that supply companies have caught on that lab-flunkies are, in fact, human beings too. If this and the biorad video are representative of the way advertising is going, I’m glad! I’m tired of the `deep voiced voice-over with dynamic action shots of people loading buffer or smearing plates` videos that have been the norm for so long.

  11. Wounded King says

    Ha! I always knew there was something effete about eppendorf pipettes. I’m a Gilson man myself.

  12. drew says

    I saw this a few months ago. I really thought it was funny and great for marketing because it will be sent around from scientist to scientist.

  13. Virgil says

    @24 Agreed! Real men use Gilson pipets! The eppi ones do not take so kindly to being dropped on the floor.

    As for marketing in the life sciences, this really has gotten out of hand. Just last week we bought a phosphorylated protein MW marker named “peppermint stick”. Coupled with”ZoomRunner” isoelectric focusing cassettes, and “belly dancer” shaking platforms, one has to wonder whether they’re handing out too much of the happy juice in the focus groups at BioRad/Invitrogen et al.

  14. Pjotr says

    Wow, someone in their marketing department watched one SNL digital short too many. Still, got to admire the not-half-assed execution.

  15. says

    Uh, this video will be useful.

    “Hello, little ones. I know many of you didn’t quite want to come here to study mathematics; it was just a second choice, a fallback because of the rush and crush of people to biology, physics or some aberrant pursuit like that. And a lucky second choice it was! You there in the back: please dim the lights. I have two videos I want you to see.”

    “And then I want you to think whether mathematics, the dark underbelly of natural sciences, suddenly looks more appealing as a permanent career than you thought.”

    “Now, let us start.”

    (And, shortly after, and with apologies to George Lucas: “Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and take your fathers’ place at my side!”)

  16. says

    An Oodiregdid!
    Hey, did I win something?
    I didn’t?
    Ah, you vile biologists! Always giving complicated answers to complicated questions – and I don’t even get a free t-shirt or a didgeridoo to annoy my neighbours with when I get one answer right.

  17. Peter Ashby says

    Yeah, let the girls have the automated pippettes, real men use a robot, accurate down to the picolitre over thousands of plates. (Ducks for cover).

  18. Amy says

    I believe it’s an attempt at nerdy humor, but when I saw this a while back (it made its rounds from lab mates to lab mates) I just found it creepy. There’s another one on PCR that was even more so. I had to stop it and couldn’t watch it the whole way through.

  19. Peter Ashby says

    OK scratch that, just watched the video. It is a fracking robot! Automated pippettor my foot PZ, where have you BEEN? It’s only a little robot. REAL robots pick up 96 tips at once.

  20. Dan Sprockett says

    Now that is spooky. I just sent this to some one from the evoldir asking about automated pipetters this morning! Are you reading my emails, PZ?

  21. JCE says

    Mmm, a science gadget ad that mocks boy bands. I love it :D

    # 13: :P If you are a science nerd an Eppendorf pipette (or a Gilsen or an Oxford, etc.) is something you either hide from your labmates post-calibration or stick labels all over saying “MINE! PAWS OFF!” with your choice of veiled death threats. This goes double for the migratory adapters needed for the large comb-tip repipettor versions. The gadget advertised seems to be an automated system which may be too large and finicky for easy hiding but should offer more space for the aforementioned death threats.

    #26: Real Women Scientists have a better grip on things and don’t drop their pipettors as much :P

    Woot – nice to see you back more often. Keep the boobie pics ‘a coming!

  22. Nerdette says

    After a long day of pipetting and counting virus OBs, that video made it so much better. Alas, no machine to pipette into hemocytometers, or boy bands to take me out of the lab and onto the beach.. sigh…

  23. kg says

    I’m presently looking into automated solutions for some of our lab tasks and can’t wait to send this to my boss…

  24. Kaleberg says

    I remember this ad from the mid-1960s, except they were pushing laundry soap back then. Looks like someone’s had one martini too many back at the agency.

  25. says

    I think the worst part about this is that somebody actually spent money on it. Somebody in Marketing got this approved. Somebody with spending authority and a budget actually thought that this was a good thing to throw marketing dollars at.
    (You’ll note I’m completely skipping commenting on the “art” itself).

  26. Julie Stahlhut says

    I think that if I told the PI in our lab that I was standing at the bench, bored with hand-pipetting PCR cocktail into multiple rows of tubes, and suddenly saw a vision of a five-piece multi-ethnic boy band that teleported me to the beach while singing a song about robotic pipettor workstations, I’d probably be offered a leave of absence for — er, health reasons.

  27. OrchidGrowinMan says

    As a lonely Geek, I had to notice the similarity of this video to a certain home page. At the risk of looking like a shill for the Cause of Scientific Intermural Hybridization, I give you: http://www.sciconnect.com/

    Q: How do you know when an engineer is flirting with you?
    A: He stares at _your_ shoes.

  28. Madeline F says

    Virgil @ 26: The British postdoc in our lab was observing awhile back that crazy names for scientific apparatus were an American thing. His example: a plastic bag like those that hold icing for cakes, which you poke a rat into so it can’t thrash around before it loses its head. “In England, that would be called something like ‘polypropylene rat restraint bag’… In America, it’s called the ‘Decapicone!'”