|UCLA Technology Available For Licensing|
With respect to basic science research, a conversion from genomic sequences to music could be used as a unique presentation to encourage independent and creative thought without conventional restraints that tend to compartmentalize seemingly different subjects such as the arts and sciences. Past efforts to convert genomic sequences into music have involved a 20 note scale that generates music with large jumps between two consecutive notes, sometimes referred to as "Alien music".
INNOVATION: Researchers at UCLA have developed a method of converting amino acid sequences into musical notes in a way that avoids the awkward sounds resulting from a simple 20 note scale in which each amino acid is assigned to one of 20 notes. This new method involves a reduced 13 note scale based on hydrophobicity and pairing of like amino acids, and using three-note chords to differentiate between members of amino acid pairs. Rhythm was added according to the codon distribution used in the genome-encoded protein sequence, allowing each amino acid to be represented by different note durations. The resulting music based completely on the actual protein sequence provides a new piece of music that is easy to listen to and retain.
POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS: With respect to basic science research, a conversion from genomic sequence to music would open a door for the blind to understand the intricacies of patterns in genomic storage information that they would otherwise not be able to study or contextualize. An auditory presentation could also be used as a means to expose students to the concepts of DNA sequences and protein sequences at an earlier age through the auditory differences and similarities in complexity, length, tempo, and loudness of melodies pertaining to various sequences. In such a way, students could pursue their interest in basic biology at an earlier age before entering high school. The unique presentation would also encourage independent and creative thought without conventional restraints that tend to compartmentalize seemingly different subjects such as art and science.
Reference: UCLA Case No. 2006-558
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