Scientists convert the sequence of proteins into music
2007 05 31

From: news-medical.net

UCLA molecular biologists have turned protein sequences into original compositions of classical music.

"We converted the sequence of proteins into music and can get an auditory signal for every protein," said Jeffrey H. Miller, distinguished professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics, and a member of UCLA's Molecular Biology Institute. "Every protein will have its unique auditory signature because every protein has a unique sequence. You can hear the sequence of the protein."

"We assigned a chord to each amino acid," said Rie Takahashi, a UCLA research assistant and an award-winning, classically trained piano player. "We want to see if we can hear patterns within the music, as opposed to looking at the letters of an amino acid or protein sequence. We can listen to a protein, as opposed to just looking at it."

The building blocks of proteins are linear sequences of 20 different amino acids. Assigning one note for each amino acid therefore results in a 20-note scale.

"A 20-note scale is too large a range," Takahashi said. "You need a reduced scale, so we paired similar amino acids together and used chords and chord variations for each amino acid. We used each component of the music to indicate a specific characteristic of the protein. We are faithful in the conversion from the sequence to the music. The rhythm is dictated by the protein sequence."

On the biologists' site (www.mimg.ucla.edu/faculty/miller_jh/gene2music/examples.html), you can listen to the compositions and even submit your own genetic sequence and have it translated to music. The browser allows anyone to send in a sequence coding for a protein, which will then be converted into music and returned as a MIDI audio file. The research is published in Genome Biology, a major journal in the field of genomics.

"I was thinking of doing a project like this for years," Miller said, "but realized I needed a person who has the unique characteristics of being both a molecular geneticist and a serious classical musician. When I met Rie, I realized this is the person I've been looking for."

Takahashi was a UCLA undergraduate in microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics who did the research as an honors thesis.

"Many scientists like classical music," she noted. "Before I took a course from Dr. Miller, those two worlds were separate in my mind. To bridge the two is very rewarding. My piano teacher doesn't have a science background, but when I use music to explain proteins to him, it goes from gibberish to something that really interests him."

Takahashi and Miller are not the first scientists to attempt to convert protein sequences into music, but they believe their music is more melodic and less "jumpy" than previous attempts. Initially, Takahashi converted the amino acids and played the resulting music on the piano. Now they are piloting a computer program, written by colleague Frank Pettit, that uses their translation rules to convert the protein sequences to music. They hope this will speed up the translation of large segments of genomes.

Takahashi first converted to music the human ThyA protein, which makes thymidine, a key component of DNA.

She also converted the Huntington protein, which plays a major role in Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is an example of a triplet repeat disorder in which an expansion of a repeated glutamine sequence causes the protein to lose its proper function. Such an expansion leads to a neurological disorder. An untrained ear can hear the repeating chords.

"We believe this can be a tremendous teaching tool to get children, non-scientists and the visually impaired interested in proteins and molecular biology," Miller said. "When I was a kid, I listened to 'Peter and the Wolf,' which was a fabulous way to introduce young people to musical instruments and classical music."

In the music, individual amino acids are expressed as chords, and similar amino acids are paired. For example, the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine are both assigned a G major chord, but they can be distinguished because the notes in the chord are arranged differently. The music has a 20-note range spanning over two octaves, but with just 13 base notes.

Takahashi published an earlier version of the research in the UCLA Undergraduate Science Journal.

As a second phase of the research, Takahashi has added variations to the music and drawn out chords.

"Some of Rie's compositions sound Chopinesque," said Miller, who is encouraging her to make a CD with her compositions that contain variations of several proteins.

http://www.ucla.edu

Article from: http://www.news-medical.net/?id=25283



Related Articles
gene2music
Forgotten In Time: The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies
The Infrared Frequencies of DNA Bases, as Science and Art
Evolution linked to Spiritual Renaissance: DNA Called “Antennae to God”
Message In A DNA Bottle
Gregg Braden - The God Code
DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA)


Latest News from our Front Page

VOTER FRAUD: Was the Scottish Independence Referendum Rigged to Fail?
2014 09 20
Was voter fraud committed during the Scottish Independence referendum? It has been confirmed that the names of 10 people were already crossed off a voter list prior them voting inside a polling station. According to reports, the Glasgow City Council confirmed that there were ten cases of suspected electoral fraud occurring at polling stations following the Scottish referendum vote on the 18th. ...
Scandinavians Split Over Syrian Influx
2014 09 20
This exemplifies the insanity of Scandinavia. The narrow victory of the left-leaning Social Democratic Party in Sweden’s elections last Sunday marked a broad shift in its politics. But a new coalition government is unlikely to reconsider one of the country’s most challenging policies: its response to the Syrian civil war. Sweden has taken an open-door approach to people fleeing the conflict, ...
The Israel lobby in United Kingdom - Who Runs Britain?
2014 09 20
Who runs British politics? Who in Britain supports all the wars the UK has been involved in? The Israel Lobby in the UK - Full Documentary By Peter Oborne from Dispatchees Links from Youtube: Zionist attack on western civilization Reed Douglas - The Controversery of Zion Source: youtube.com The cowardice at the heart of UK relationship with Israel Close friends and allies: Prime Minister David Cameron ...
Another Palestinian Mass Grave Discovered, Evidence of Massacre
2014 09 20
Another mass grave discovered, evidence of 1948 Judaic holocaust by bullets, knives and bludgeons against Palestinians. The Israeli military admits to have been surprised by the abilities of Palestinian resistance fighters during its recent war on the Gaza Strip. A top Israeli military official says he’s impressed by the training of Palestinian resistance fighters from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad groups. He ...
Russian Media to be owned by Russians
2014 09 20
Comment: Russian media by and for Russians? Wow, revolutionary! I guess they are stick of foreign oligarchs and zionist with dual citizenship. Duma seeks limits on foreign ownership of Russian media companies A group of opposition lawmakers have prepared a bill that orders Russian mass media companies to have at least 80 percent of their stock held by Russian investors. The bill is backed ...
More News »