Swine Flu As Ambient Music

Swine flu has been sequenced, genetically and now as ambient music:


Here are the details on this:

The algorithm I used is a bit complicated, but just in case you’re curious: since the gene is expressed as a surface protein antibodies can sense, it’s considered as a string of amino acids.  Each beat corresponds to one amino acid, and the piece is in 3/4 time, so each six measures would correspond to five turns around the alpha structure.  (I’m weaseling because I haven’t the foggiest idea how the protein actually gets folded.)

Amino acids with side chains that are neither aromatic not aliphatic control the piano and organ: the nine non-hydrophobics the piano, and the four hydrophobics the organ. The three amino acids with aliphatic side chains control the low synthesizer, while the four with aromatics control the percussion.

Yeah – it’s pretty horrible, but at least swine flu music won’t kill you.

via Stephan Zielinski

One thought on “Swine Flu As Ambient Music

  1. Christ enough with the damn flu already. Rolling Stone had it on their site today, nerd sites like Ars Technika did, and here? Enough already!

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