Short Wave: Making Music Out Of The Coronavirus

Years ago, Markus Buehler developed a method to model proteins through music.

So, when he heard about the spike proteins on the novel coronavirus, he wondered: what does it sound like?

Today on the show, Maddie Sofia talks to Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong about how Markus Buehler, a composer and professor of engineering at MIT, developed a way to make music out of protein structure and how music can potentially help us hear what we have trouble seeing at the nanoscale level.

Listen to the “protein sonifications” and other music created by Markus Buehler, featured in the episode:

Close to Nature

Concert of Silk and Amyloid

Concert of Enzyme Lysozyme

Viral Counterpoint of the Coronavirus Spike Protein (2019-nCoV)

And here is a dance performance from Poland, choreographed to Buehler’s coronavirus spike protein composition.

Follow Maddie Sofia on Twitter at @maddie_sofia and Emily Kwong at @emilykwong1234. And email the show at


Short Wave Podcast

It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Biology, Health & Medicine, Microbiology, Sound
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