Sonification of the replicase protein from the human SARS coronavirus.
The replicase is made of several smaller proteins which work together to hijack the machinery of human cells. This allows the virus to reproduce and spread throughout the host. The replicase being sonified is labelled in the video as a 'multi-protein chain' and appears at 03:48.
The sounds are generated from the protein sequence data itself. Each amino acid which makes up the protein is assigned to a different pitch, which is then played using a synthesizer. The protein sequence data is taken from the UniProtKB database (1). More details on the generative algorithmic process behind the sonification can be found on the Soundcloud link (2).
The video details the life cycle of a retrovirus, specifically HIV. Retroviruses use a replicase polyprotein in the same way as coronaviruses. The video was created by Biointeractive for educational purposes on behalf of the HHMI. The original video with original audio can be found here (3).
This piece was first performed on 05/03/2020 at Harmonic Function, 50 George Square, University of Edinburgh, UK.