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Diagnosis: Out of Tune

Gil Alterovitz, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, has used proteomic data and mathematical modeling to develop a computer program that translates protein and gene expression into music. In his music, health is distinguished from disease by harmony. Alterovitz studied protein networks in colon cancer data, and found four key ones that he then assigned a note to. He found that "notes would form a harmonic chord in normal, healthy states and become increasingly out of tune as key physiological signs go awry, signaling disease," reports a story in Technology Review. He hopes that in the future, doctors will be able to detect disease earlier "via a musical slip into discord."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.