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Video: Scientists Turn Coronavirus Structure Into Music
Scientists turn coronavirus structure into music
Scientists have turned the amino acid sequence of an essential protein in the new coronavirus into music, Science magazine says. The squirrel's melody should help to find its weak points. A Japanese instrument called koto was used to sound the squirrel.
Photo: pixabay.com /
Scientists have turned the amino acid sequence of an essential protein in the new coronavirus into music, Science magazine says. The squirrel's melody should help to find its weak points.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have voiced the most famous protein of the new coronavirus - S-protein (spike proteine). With its help, the virus attaches to human cells, it is against it that one of the promising vaccines against COVID-19 should act in the future.
Scientists have assigned a specific note to each amino acid of this protein using the sonification technique. Then they played it in a special program. The duration and volume of notes reflect other parameters of the protein - the ability to curl into a spiral and assemble into a tertiary structure.
Scientists did not spend their time voicing the S-protein out of idle interest. "The new format helps scientists find regions of a protein that antibodies or proteins can bind to, simply by detecting specific musical sequences that correspond to such regions," Science writes. Scientists have called this method faster and more intuitive than, for example, molecular modeling. They suggest that comparative listening to the sonified molecules over time will help find a cure for the coronavirus.
The choice of instruments (the Japanese plucked instrument koto, bells and flutes) depended on the personal tastes of the scholars. The sound of a koto, Science points out, can calm people during difficult periods of life.
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