Thursday, May 24, 2007

Musical Patterns

Since January, I've taken two classes at DePaul University dealing with Bioinformatics, and more specifically, proteomics. Bioinformatics is the process of using computer systems to gain insight into biological systems. The amount of information that exists in biological systems is so large that deciphering it is almost impossible without the benefit of computer models. However, modelling biological systems with computer programs and data structures is itself a mammoth undertaking. Once you add the problem of describing what is needed ( requirements gathering ), you have a very difficult undertaking. The purpose of the classes that I've been taking is to familiarize computer programmers with the basic biology, research methods, and lingua franca of the biological research world. It's very interesting stuff, and I've been told it's also very lucrative for programmers.

All this is to add some context around my interest in article linked below. Apparently, some researchers have created software that interprets protein sequences as music. It's a clever method for comparing sequences of DNA that correspond to specific protein structures, particularly since it doesn't take specialized biological knowledge to listen to differences in musical patterns.

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