A new web site promises to turn your genetic sequence into a musical sequence.Rie Takahashi and Jeffrey Miller of the University of California at Los Angeles describe the system in the open-access journal Genome Biology. They set up a system is to translate amino acids – the building blocks for human protein sequences – into musical chords.
Takahashi, an musician as well as a microbiologist, worked with Miller to come up with an artful way to represent the standard 20 amino acids with the standard 13-note scale.
“The challenge was to find a way to be completely faithful to the science … but also make the music more dimensional and add rhythm,” said.
With the aid of a colleague at UCLA, Frank Pettit, the researchers devised a Web-based program that can take the three-base code for each amino acid in a sequence, triplet by triplet, and turn it into a playable MIDI file.
Miller said the resulting music is completely determined by the protein sequence rather than tunefulness. “There are no fudge factors at all,” he said.