the sound-ification of proteins

in the field of virology and immunology there has been often a drive to represent and simulate the way in which viruses may infect their hosts. however, this has been done only visually, using animations or 3d simulations. the same has happened in the field of computer science and info-security, with quite impressive results. following a similar trend, as often biology and informatics inform each other, intertwine, and engage in endless exchanges, neither fields have used sound to convey the idea of contagion or to provide immediate clues that would convey the dynamics of the molecules of viruses during mutation or contagion.

As part of the work of the SMART collective (Science Meet Art Collective) a group of biotechnologists, medical biotechnicians and musicians based at the Turin Polytechnic, Riccardo Castagna and Valentina Margaria not only produced an animated model that translated the genome-encoded protein sequence of the virus into musical notes and created a polyphonic harmony taking in account its tertiary structure,  but they also illustrated the actual tight connection between the biological material turned into sound and informatics. in fact, while the information contained in the virus has been collected and translated into a model, this model is–inevitably– an informatic one, as the only tool that can actually reproduce the behavior of such submicroscopic entity. The “Biomatics Virus”, as they entitled their work, maps the genesis and the spreading of the “viral” through sound.