Dec 2, 2013

It is in our DNA: Chromosome Painting, DNA Music

I hadn't planned on testing my DNA, but on a whim, I ordered a kit from  I downloaded the raw data file of my DNA, thinking that it would be nice to play with some day, and then learned about a free online resource, Gedmatch, that would make it easy to upload my raw DNA file and go exploring.  I'm happy that I did, since the FDA is trying to stop personal genome testing. At the time of this post, and Family Tree DNA were not impacted by this effort. 23andMe was the target, because the company provides customers with information about health risks and possible genetic conditions.

The picture below is segment of a screenshot of the results of chromosome painting, created using the Ad-Mix utilities and "Davidski's" Eurogenes K13 model.  Each color represents a different group of my ancestors, and each chromosome has a different mix. 

I knew I'd get some very colorful results, given the fact that my ancestors came from all over the planet!  

Although I like the interplay of color an pattern of my of my DNA Ad-Mixture results, and think the above section would make a great piece of modern art, I learned this morning about that there is a company, DNA11 that creates personalized DNA art that is suitable for displaying in homes - or offices. DNA 11 was featured in my local paper this morning, recommended DNA art as a great holiday gift for science buffs.

Credit:  DNAll

Looking at picture of my painted chromosomes, I was reminded of waveforms, and remembered reading something about DNA music. After a quick search, I came across the Your DNA Song website. Your DNA Song is a company that provides customers with a DNA testing kit , using a sample of saliva, that is processed by a lab, and then bio-sequenced to generate music.  To hear it, take a look at the video - a nice rendition of Chromosome #1, by Stuart Mitchell.

Be forewarned. The Your DNA Song website suggests that the protein translation of your DNA, set to music tuned to 432 Hz, has healing powers.  Yes, it sounds very New Age, but there is a story behind it.  Composers of classical music used this tuning, but in 1939, the standards were changed to A=440 Hz. There is an interesting story behind the change, and a controversy still exists. 

If you don't want to shell out money to hear your personal DNA patterns sing, you might like the DyNAMixers on the Your DNA Song website.  Created by the musician Stuart Mitchell, the mixers provide a nice way of experimenting and remixing music based on DNA and proteins.  The screenshot below gives you an idea of what you'll find if you play with the DyNAMixers on the site
Credit: Your DNA Song

F.D.A. Orders Genetic Testing Firm to Stop Selling DNA Analysis Service
Andrew Pollack, New York Times, 11/25/13
AncestryDNA Test
Family Tree DNA
Eurogenes Genetic Ancestry Project;  Eurogenes Blog
Davidski Polako
Ondrizek's Chromosome Painting...and our beautiful DNA
Tina Hoggat, 4Culture Blog, 7/2/12
Gifts for the wcience whiz
DNA11 Images Gallery
Go Inside The World's First LAb That Turns DNA Into Custom Art
Dina Spector, Business Insider, 6/12/13
Gedmatch: a DNA geek's dream site
Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist, 8/12/12
John Roach, National Geographic News, 10/21/05
Michael Zev Gordon, The Guardian, 6/24/10
Proportion in Musical Scales (Sacred Geometry website)
Return of the 432hz: Mozart/Cold Play/Radiohead/The Doors
AltoEgo Blog 7/16/13  (scroll down for examples of familiar music in 432 Hz)

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