Imagine listening to insulin, hemoglobin, or amyloid, the notorious Alzheimer’s protein. What do they sound like?
First, you have to hear their amino acids. These building blocks of proteins move, vibrating on the molecular level. Researchers have tuned in to them to create the amino acid musical scale — and then make “music” in order to investigate disease.
I actually think this is a fascinating project that is intellectually and ‘musically’ challenging.
Getting such ideas accepted more widely is difficult due to preconceived notions that sonification is an attempt to make music rather than an attempt to use audio as a tool to understand the process that lead to its creation. My light-hearted quip should be read in that light.
For any sonification project, the challenge for listeners is to perceive the audio as data. I think this is akin to learning the fundamentals of a new language. Clearly there are advantages to using sonification in its own right or as an ancillary tool to visual inspection alone.
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