Computer software that converts DNA sequences into music has been made available online by scientists at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Known as ProteinMusic, the original Java program was developed five years ago by Ross King, a reader in computer science at the university, in collaboration with pop star Colin Angus of The Shamen. At the time, specialist music software and synthesisers were required to run the program.
But a version developed by Dr King and Andreas Karwath, who also works in the computer science department, can run on any standard personal computer that has a sound card. Users download DNA sequences from a database and paste them into the program to produce music.
Dr King said: "We wanted to find a way of illustrating the structure of the genetic code."
Proteins and music are similar in structure: they are both sequential, and neither completely repetitive nor completely random.
The program can be accessed free at http:///www.aber.ac.uk/phiwww/pm/