Molecular DJ

27th November 2012

At the recent IFR Open Day, IFR molecular microbiologist Dr Mark Reuter introduced visitors to protein structures using music.

Proteins are made up of long chains building blocks called amino acids, and just 20 different amino acids are used to make up all the different proteins seen in nature. Mark used software to convert the instructions for making these amino acid chains into a musical score, with a different note corresponding to different amino acids.

Emma Gaskell is a final year Biological Sciences undergraduate at UEA and has been able to apply her interest in science communication by undertaking work experience with the IFR Communications Team. She met Mark to find out more. Her article, on the Gut Health and Food safety blog, explores the common features found in musical scores and in protein structures.


The molecular structure of the protein lactoferrin, converted into music.