Proteins are boring stuff, for those of us who are forced to study them. Many a time, our eyes struggle to make sense of the message hidden in the DNA sequence of A, G, C, and T which are ultimately made into proteins.

Not any more. Through an amalgam of molecular biology and classical music, it is now possible to ‘hear’ proteins instead of just looking at them. Chords and chord variations are used for each amino acid and rhythm is based on the protein sequence. Pioneered by Rie Takahashi from UCLA, this work is claimed to be much more melodic and less discordant than her predecessors.

As a scientist, I’d say that this is a step in the right direction for science in making it more accessible to the average layperson. However, the musician in me would frown at the apparent ‘non-musicality’ of the whole approach.

Yes, it sounds like a jazz piece, and maybe jazz just isn’t my cup of tea. But, come on, how can a series of three-note chords, randomly scattered around the treble clef stave be called music?

Apparently, a CD is going to be made out of these protein compositions. Fellow scientists would rush quickly to the local music shop to buy it, but count me out. I have much higher standards than that.

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