Honors Theses


Mark Nielsen and Tobias Rush


Biology and Music

Publication Date

Spring 4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis


In the study, we are analyzing the human genome in order to determine patterns that may tell something about how DNA functions. Patterns require an explanation: it is highly improbable that they are random occurrence. These patterns may hint to something about how DNA functions. There are known patterns already discovered in DNA. For example, in the coding portion, three base pairs translate to a specific amino acid. In the non coding portion, however, specific patterns are not as simple.

We will search for patterns by applying a coding system that turns DNA into music. Music may serve as a powerful tool because we will be able to use to analyze long codings in a short period of time, and the entire phrases will connect in some way. When you listen to a song the order of the chords and phrases have an impact on the entire sound. DNA is the same way; the individual sequencing tie in together to replicate and transcript our genetic material. We will use known knowledge of DNA to base our system of musical coding off of, such as the individual nucleotide sequencing, amino acid coding and protein binding sites. Specific musical assignments will be given to each of the pairings. For example, an adenine base pair could be assigned a C major chord. The DNA will then be played using a computer programing software. The DNA sequences will then be heard and analyzed for specific patterns.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research


Arts and Humanities | Biology | Life Sciences | Music