MIT researchers translated the coronavirus into music offering a new perspective for studying the virus
Added 05-23-20 12:14:02am EST - “Markus Buehler described to Business Insider how he and his lab translated the structure of the coronavirus protein into a musical composition.” - Businessinsider.com
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Amid an unprecedented pandemic, researchers have been rushing to understand the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19.
While some are taking the traditional route of visually looking at the virus, dubbed SARS-CoV-2, under a microscope, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using another sense to study the coronavirus: hearing.
Markus Buehler, a material scientist and professor of engineering at MIT, told Business Insider that his lab, which specializes in the study of biological materials, had taken the approach of sonification — the process of conveying data in audio format — to protein materials, namely SARS-CoV-2.
"When we go to the nano scale, we're actually looking at, basically, the atoms at the scale of individual molecules," Buehler said. "We realized that matter is always moving and vibrating because every atom is continuously shaking, so because of that, we can make any chemical structure into a sound."
Using machine learning and AI technology, Buehler said he and his team were able to "calculate the vibrational spectrum and make that audible," thus creating overlapping "melodies" that would ultimately create a composition or audible representation of the protein.
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