At this point, you’ve heard all sorts of things about the novel coronavirus. From the way it spreads to how long it takes to realise you have it, there are masses of information you’ve discovered to keep yourself wary. But have you ever wondered how it sounds?
In an attempt to understand this new pathogen better, musician and engineer Markus Buehler and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have assigned each protein and structural form a musical equivalent.
As tragic as the virus may be, the music associated with it is eerily soothing. The volume, duration and rhythm of notes in the score reflect how the amino acids that make up the proteins are arranged, and the entangled chains are rendered as intersecting melodies.
It all sounds complicated but essentially what it means is that they have officially established how COVID-19 sounds.
You may be wondering, “Why are people busy making music when they should be finding a cure?”. Well, there’s more to the piece of music than just a pacifying melody. Translating proteins into sound gives scientists another tool to understand and manipulate them.
Understanding the music and vibrational patterns are critical to drug design, so taking a musical approach could assist in designing drugs. Give the elegant piece a go and see how you feel about it. For all you know, you might find yourself to be the next scientist to accept a Nobel peace prize for finding the cure for COVID-19.
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