This Is What Coronavirus Sounds Like

Coronavirus spike protein image

Coronavirus is no joke. Even if you’re not ill from it, you’re still experiencing a disruption in your lifestyle because of it. But like many other things that we’ve seen in the past turned into music, so can the spike protein of coronavirus.

A team of scientists from MIT have turned it into a preliminary score using a process they call “sonification,” which assigned each amino acid in the protein a unique note in a musical scale. Since these amino acids either curl into a helix or stretch out, this is represented by the duration and volume of the notes. Molecular vibrations due to heat also get their own sounds.

So why would anyone even think of doing this? After all, this is a nasty bug in so many ways. Actually, researchers believe that this might be a new and easier way to find sites on the protein where antibodies or drugs could be able to bind, thus preventing the virus from infecting a cell. They’ll do this by comparing the musical sequence of the spike protein to a large database of other sonified proteins.

What you’ll hear below is rather pleasant sounding mostly because of the instruments chosen. They have no real connection to the protein except that the researchers found it easier to listen to. The main instrument is a Japanese Koto.

Have a listen.

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