Lactose breakdown. LacY permease is an enzyme found in the bacterium E. coli that is involved in breaking down lactose. It has both hydrophilic (water-bonding) and hydrophobic (water-repelling) properties. After translating the amino-acid sequence into music, scientists hoped to be able to pick out hydrophilic versus hydrophobic patterns. "If you listen to the notes slowly, you can hear some of the differences and similarities," says Takahashi.
(View the full musical score) (Click here to play the music file)