Nav: Home

Making music from proteins (video)

June 26, 2019

Composers string notes of different pitch and duration together to create music. Similarly, cells join amino acids with different characteristics together to make proteins. Now, researchers have bridged these two seemingly disparate processes by translating protein sequences into musical compositions and then using artificial intelligence to convert the sounds into brand-new proteins. They report their results in ACS Nano. Watch how they did it here.

To make proteins, cellular structures called ribosomes add one of 20 different amino acids to a growing chain in combinations specified by the genetic blueprint. The properties of the amino acids and the complex shapes into which the resulting proteins fold determine how the molecule will work in the body. To better understand a protein's architecture, and possibly design new ones with desired features, Markus Buehler and colleagues wanted to find a way to translate a protein's amino acid sequence into music.

The researchers transposed the unique natural vibrational frequencies of each amino acid into sound frequencies that humans can hear. In this way, they generated a scale consisting of 20 unique tones. Unlike musical notes, however, each amino acid tone consisted of the overlay of many different frequencies -- similar to a chord. Buehler and colleagues then translated several proteins into audio compositions, with the duration of each tone specified by the different 3D structures that make up the molecule. Finally, the researchers used artificial intelligence to recognize specific musical patterns that corresponded to certain protein architectures. The computer then generated scores and translated them into new-to-nature proteins. In addition to being a tool for protein design and for investigating disease mutations, the method could be helpful for explaining protein structure to broad audiences, the researchers say. They even developed an Android app to allow people to create their own bio-based musical compositions.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the Office of Naval Research and the National Institutes of Health.

The paper's abstract will be available on June 26 at 8 a.m. Eastern time here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/acsnano.9b02180

For more research news, journalists and public information officers are encouraged to apply for complimentary press registration for the ACS fall 2019 national meeting in San Diego.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Amino Acids Articles:

A unique amino acid for brain cancer therapy
Researchers discover potential application of amino acid taurine in photodynamic therapy for brain cancer.
Nickel: A greener route to fatty acids
Chemists designed a nickel catalyst that easily transforms petroleum feedstocks into valuable compounds like fatty acids.
Amino acids in diet could be key to starving cancer
Cutting out certain amino acids - the building blocks of proteins -- from the diet of mice slows tumor growth and prolongs survival, according to new research published in Nature.
How to brew high-value fatty acids with brewer's yeast
Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have succeeded in producing fatty acids in large quantities from sugar or waste containing sugar with the help of yeasts.
Diverse natural fatty acids follow 'Golden Mean'
Bioinformatics scientists at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Germany) have discovered that the number of theoretically possible fatty acids with the same chain length but different structures can be determined with the aid of the famous Fibonacci sequence.
More Amino Acids News and Amino Acids Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#534 Bacteria are Coming for Your OJ
What makes breakfast, breakfast? Well, according to every movie and TV show we've ever seen, a big glass of orange juice is basically required. But our morning grapefruit might be in danger. Why? Citrus greening, a bacteria carried by a bug, has infected 90% of the citrus groves in Florida. It's coming for your OJ. We'll talk with University of Maryland plant virologist Anne Simon about ways to stop the citrus killer, and with science writer and journalist Maryn McKenna about why throwing antibiotics at the problem is probably not the solution. Related links: A Review of the Citrus Greening...