The chorus (which you'll now be singing all day, sorry!) :
There's 15N, 39K, 19F, and also 13C,
But of all the atoms East to West, the nucleus I like best is 31P.
Proton spins are everywhere, and MRIs reveal their density.
But all that leaves me unimpressed; the nucleus I like best is 31P.
31P (Phosphorus-31 NMR) is used in nuclear magnetic resonance imaging to study biological membranes in native conditions. It also -- as the song says -- let's you "find the rates of using and creating ATP."
Leslie is the online editor at Workboat.com and NationalFisherman.com. She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be. She is also Science Friday's former web editor.
The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.