The Coronavirus soundtrack-Can Machine Learning find a cure?

British musician, record producer and musical theorist Brian Eno, considered the ‘father’ of ambient music, is known worldwide for his pioneering contributions to the music industry. He has not only been involved in the production of thousands of tracks across varied genres but has done so while being associated with industry stalwarts such as David Bowie, Phil Collins and U2. Now aged 70 with an illustrious 50-year career behind him, who would have thought that his work would be associated with a pandemic-causing virus currently searing through the world?

This connection was first established by MIT Professor Markus Buehler. Using an AI-system to assign different musical notes to each amino acid of the coronavirus protein’s spiked structure to create a whole musical composition, Buehler noticed the 110-minute melody sounded exactly like a Brian Eno ambient track. This exercise, of course, wasn’t just for novelty’s sake. It is believed to be much more accurate than the usual static diagrams of the virus, which fail to show its constant vibration and movements. Having spent years studying the fracturing of different materials, Buehler believes the nanoscopic vibrations in the virus’ structure could be exploited in forcing the structure’s disintegration.

Additionally, with the use of data analytics and machine learning, the better-represented vibrating structure of the coronavirus can be compared to known existing viral structures in order to find similarities – at least in specific sections. This can help in developing an antidote for the disease by identifying antibodies that can attach themselves to those sections and cause internal fracturing, eventually leading to its degradation.


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