This is what coronavirus sounds like

WFH to this.

by Frankie Dunn
06 April 2020, 3:22pm

By this point, everyone is well aware of how the crowned nightmare that is coronavirus looks. But what does it sound like? Contrary to popular belief, not persistent coughing and laboured breathing. Nope, instead it seems that if you translate the structure of the virus’s spike protein into music using a new technique called sonification, you get something really beautiful. By assigning each amino acid a note in a musical scale, and each aspect of the protein a different instrument, scientists from MIT have turned the deadly virus into a multi-layered algorithmic composition that wouldn’t be out of place in Björk’s discography.

Led by a 13-string Japanese koto, bells and flutes are introduced to the ensemble, with the way in which each amino acid moves represented through volume and duration of its corresponding note. Molecular vibration is also audible, along with interwoven melodies reflecting the hierarchical geometry of the protein.

It’s a weird move to let the virus behind the global coronavirus pandemic soundtrack your self-isolation, but when it sounds this calming, we’re certainly not judging.