We're all by now familiar with the spiky look of the coronavirus protein.
But what do you think it might sound like?
Last spring, as the COVID-19 virus began to spread to every corner of the world, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were busy assigning unique notes to each amino acid of the virus.
An algorithm then converted these notes into a preliminary musical score.
Following the fascination of being able to hear the sound of the coronavirus last year, the Lindenbaum Festival Orchestra held a recording session of the COVID-19 Antibody Music world premiere just this past weekend.
Antibody music for Covid-19: Could this serve as another healing vaccine for the mentally and emotionally weakened in these challenging times? It's the topic of our News In-depth.
Joining us live is the musician and MIT professor behind what could become a "viral hit," Markus Buehler, the McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT.
Professor Buehler, good to have you on the show.
Obviously one big question that comes the mind of an average person like myself is: what's the point of all this? Can this sequence of coronavirus that's been made into lovely music help combat the virus?
Now, what's also new is the role of artificial intelligence. Not to get too technical but how much of the composition process needs your input, versus what the AI produces, and finally the contribution of a music director?
You've always used music analogies in your teaching as a professor to help in the understanding of proteins
Listening to music is always more accessible for the general audience than the depths of science
But that doesn't make the concept less abstract What should the average person be making out of the COVID-19 and its antibody music?
Following last year's composition of the COVID-19 virus itself, this year you've released the sound of the COVID-19 antibody
The most obvious difference between the two is the length the virus nearing 2 hours, while the antibody just around 4 minutes.
Why is this the case, and what other differences are there?
There's been much concern among health authorities regarding variants of the COVID-19 virus.
Was this something that was detected while analyzing the composition of its sound?
Would you say the collaboration of experts with the deepest understanding of each element - the music, the vibrations, the chemistry, and the medicine - could open a new chapter of science?
Markus Buehler, McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT, thank you for your insights tonight. We appreciate it.