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Biomedicine in museums

Displaying protein sequences as music

The public understanding of biomedicine can be promoted in many forms and disguises. In the last issue of the online journal Genome Biology, Rie Takahashi and Jeffrey H. Miller from the Department of Microbiology, UCLA, report the preliminary results of their search for a way to convert genomic sequences to piano music. Their purpose was both to widen the field of public understanding of science and to help blind scientists:

By converting genomic sequences into music, we hope to achieve several goals, which include investigating sequences by the vision impaired. Another aim is to attract young people into molecular genetics by using the multidisciplinary approach of fusing music and science.

To do so, they had to overcome some technical problems, including how to turn a non-rhytmic sequence pattern into rhythm, and how to squeeze 20 amino acids into a smaller number of notes. Read more about their result here — fascinating stuff! 

(thanks to MedGadgets for the tip)

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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