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Music From DNA Patented

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the tinkle-of-little-coins dept.

Patents 203

stm2 writes "Two lawyers have patented generating music from a DNA sequence. According to the patent, it covers 'music generated by decoding and transcribing genetic information within a DNA sequence into a music signal having melody and harmony.' A comment to the blog post mentions DNA-derived music being performed at a conference in 1995."

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Uh... What? (1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051925)

Why? I just want to know what possible profit/benefit you could find from making music from DNA.

Re:Uh... What? (3, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051977)

It's in the end of the patent... Not that it makes much sense to me... I guess there could theoretically be a minority market for it. :-S

----

The music signal generated from the genetic data can be used in a variety of consumer and industrial products and methods. For example, novelty products such as greeting cards, genetic music CDs, and the like can incorporate a person's individual music generated from their own sample of DNA. The specific DNA sequence can be provided to a company for generation of the genetic music. Alternatively, a sample containing the genetic material can be provided for sequencing and generating the music.

Useful products include individual identity analysis, for example, for security checking, paternity testing, and the like. The music generated by an individual sample can be compared with a control sample. An identity analyzer can be configured to provide an audible signal for a specific comparative result, for example, if the sample and the control differ, e.g., signaling an alarm in a security setting, or when they are the same, e.g., adding excitement to live television coverage of paternity determinations.

Clinical analyzers that compare sequences of patient samples with controls may be programmed to provide soothing melodies when the sequence is "normal" and to provide an audible, for example, discordant music when an "abnormal" sequence is detected. Such signals can provide a signal for the clinical technician to alert a physician to the difference in the sequence.

Re:Uh... What? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052221)

How would this be any different from generating music from the atomic structure of crystals, or from the x-rays being given off by a pulsar? How the fuck can you patent this? What is there to fucking patent? Christ, I wish they'd simply fine guys like this several million times their net worth or make them sign a document promising never to even go within five miles of the patent office or even think about sending in letters.

Re:Uh... What? (4, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052491)

I'd say he's in the clear. The patent office, on the other hand, needs a good kick.

Re:Uh... What? (4, Funny)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052921)

Seems to me that avante garde artists like John Cage already have stuff like this covered- not by patent, but by prior art. I doubt any of them dealt with DNA specifically, but they were notorious for creating music (in the loosest sense of the word) using any of various sources of random influence.

Re:Uh... What? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053289)

Given that DNA is fairly random [when including all forms of life with DNA as we know it], this means they've patented pretty much every note combination possible. Now, you will have to pay them royalties if you make or play any new composition.

Re:Uh... What? (4, Insightful)

TobyRush (957946) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052613)

The music signal generated from the genetic data can be used in a variety of consumer and industrial products and methods. For example, novelty products such as greeting cards, genetic music CDs, and the like can incorporate a person's individual music generated from their own sample of DNA.

I wrote a program quite a while back which converted text files (say, The Gettysburg Address) into standard MIDI files, and for the result to be anything even remotely playable I needed to do quite a bit of normalization as part of the translation.

So if anyone uses this for greeting cards, it's going to be 1% DNA source material and 99% pre-conceived structure. I'm sure they'll market it as "this is the music that is coursing through your veins!" when in reality it's just a really expensive random-number generator. And I'd be very interested to see what happens if you send the same DNA sample in twice, say a few months apart, and compare the results (which should be identical, right?)...

Re:Uh... What? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20053197)

Mod parent up

Re:Uh... What? (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051993)

Well, I had thought of digging up Elvis, cloning him and embedding him into a bunch of ipods. But, I guess I can kiss that scheme goodbye now.

Re:Uh... What? (4, Funny)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052281)

It's a faster and straightforward way for geneticists to identify junk DNA in our chromosomes, because it sounds much more like top-40 music.

Similarly, DNA for coding the human brain will sound like NPR; for muscles, Jock Jams; for reproductive organs... well, you get the idea.

Interestingly, the first DNA sample they plugged into this technology was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's. They found out that his chromosomes, in fact, sound remarkably like the Spice Girls being played at 78 rpm. Strange but true.

Re:Uh... What? (2, Funny)

sh3l1 (981741) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053355)

For reproductive organs the sex pistols will play :-)

Re:Uh... What? (3, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052365)

It just makes no sense.

Translating DNA into music is a really neat concept. Translating anything that has a decipherable system to its design into another design system is rad. But why, why, why, patent it? Is it so someone else does not come along and claim credit for your innovation? I doubt it. Prior art would invalidate any later patent claims.

It just makes no sense. Please bear in mind that I write proprietary software for a living. I would never imagine attempting to prevent a competitor from providing their customers with the best product that they can produce, whether or not it resembled my product. I compete based on the quality of my product and service.

And this translation of DNA into music is not even a salable product... I agree with parent poster. This is yet another bewildering use of the patent system.

Regards.

Re:Uh... What? (4, Informative)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052975)

And this translation of DNA into music is not even a salable product...
Litigation is a profitable product for lawyers.

Re:Uh... What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052605)

I'm sure someone asked about the possible profit/benefit of making music with a computer at one point...

Melody and harmony (2, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051931)

So I suppose as long as it's heavy metal it should be safe from litigation ;)

Re:Melody and harmony (1)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052121)

And rap.

Prior Art (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051947)

This is the kind of invention that would be worth protecting if it protected only the specific device the inventors produced to do it.

But as it happens, the patent as granted would protect them from competing with me, and anyone else whose DNA codes their bodies functionality to play a musical instrument with melody and harmony.

It's a joke, it ruins "science and the useful arts" in the name of "promoting" it, and it ruins the actual narrower right of authors/inventors to be protected for a reasonably limited time from competition stealing their investment just in time to compete with them.

But no one is talking about replacing it with something Constitutional. That would be a great invention, based on the original prior art, that should be as widely copied as possible.

Re:Prior Art (1)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052095)

And these geniuses have patented something that was done twelve years ago! Presumably not by them.
Grrrr....

Re:Prior Art (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052847)

Here's something interesting. The person that submitted the story did not even read the patent. The proof is quite simple. At the start of the patent is a list of prior art. This list includes:

Gena et al., Sixth International Syumposium on Electronic Art, Montreal, 1995: 83-85. XI Colloquio di Informatica Musicale, Univerista di Bologna, 1995: 203-204. http://www.artic.edu/.about.pgena/docs/CIMXI-gena- strom.pdf [artic.edu] , pp. 1-2 "Musical Synthesis of DNA Sequences." cited by other.

I presume this is the self same conference mentioned in the submission. So, it was cited against the application and it was found to be novel over that and plenty of other cited prior art documents. I'm sure you could look at the file wrapper for a deeper reading of the arguments but the point is clear. The applicants and examiner were both aware that something similar was done in 1995 but that this patent has some advance over that.

Re:Prior Art (1)

Chris Brewer (66818) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052267)

Pete Townshend could probably bust this patent - see Baba O'Riley [wikipedia.org]

The original concept for the Lifehouse project was to plug in a person's vital statistics into the synth and have that as the intro to Baba O'Riley - never worked out in the end, but the concepts the same, I believe (didn't RTFA)

Re:Prior Art (1)

helioc (513705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052467)

Electronic group The Shamen released Axis Mutatis in 1995, way before this. Quoting review from 1996 page http://www.westnet.com/consumable/1996/01.18/revsh ame.html [westnet.com] :

"S2 Translation" is probably the most interesting piece on the album because of the way it was constructed. The MIDI sequence was created by the use of data from "the amino acid characteristics and the DNA coding for protein S2, a receptor for serotonin and other tryptamines." This incredible feat was accomplished through the use of a computer program devised by Colin.

Re:Prior Art (3, Informative)

iter8 (742854) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052515)

A quick google for "dna music" yields 29000 hits. Including http://www.nslij-genetics.org/dnamusic/ [nslij-genetics.org] and http://www.algoart.com/music.htm [algoart.com] . There are lots of samples of music generated by DNA and protein sequences on the web. It's not even much of a trick. I'm off to patent my technique for music made by barking dogs.

Re:Prior Art (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052687)

If you can call the pianola (like a piano but with a punched hole reader) prior art then I guess you can call generating music from a DNA sequence prior art. All you need is a sampling speed and to assign a frequency to each DNA sequence. Actually it is more complex than that since you would have to assign a sound level and possibly the length of time you can hold at the frequency. There I think I have got the gist of how to do this without reading the patent although I have to stress I am not a musician.

If the "music" player/concept is patented and it is now (sigh!) then what about the music or DNA sequence? After all music and lyrics are Copyright and if memory serves me this is for a fairly long time so we should all Copyright our DNA (err music and lyrics) so that anyone who listens to our personal music has to pay us royalties. I even think the Music industry would be interested in this. This should be fun in a law court, think DRM at it's most ludicrous.

Totally ill-founded patent (1)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052973)

No it is not worth protecting this kind of patent, under any circumstances, because it corrupts the entire basis on which patents are granted.

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a patentee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an invention. [wikipedia.org]

And the reason why the state affords a patentee such a protected period is so that the public disclosure does not place the patentee at a disadvantage while bringing the invention to market, versus others who have obtained the details without effort through the disclosure.

There has been no actual invention here whatsoever, there are no innovative details to offer the public, and only one single unremarkable choice was made. The alleged "invention" consists merely of taking one class of datum (a gene sequence) and using it as input to a process, a generative music generator. Neither one nor the other is new, and this kind of juxtaposition is arbitrary and does not result from insight nor from effort. And as many others have pointed out, it's not even a novel choice, but has been done countless times before.

Also, the lawyers aren't actually producing anything so there is nothing to protect, and release of the details provides the public with absolutely nothing of benefit in exchange. What we have here are the usual worthless sons of bitches thinking they can carve out a piece of the public ideas space and claim that they own it --- totally at odds with the very concept of patents.

So no, it's not worth protecting, regardless of any other point. It's simply contemptible, corrupting of the patent system (as if it could get any worse), and totally ill-founded.

Re:Prior Art (1)

I'm not evil. See (1135239) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053259)

Endo, the alien creature at the heart of this years ICFP Contest [icfpcontest.org] , has already stuffed all manner of information into his/her DNA. Plenty of images, and some audio also. Do our earthly patent systems extend to outer space?

My own DNA... (3, Interesting)

ect5150 (700619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051949)

And what happens when the music generated from my OWN DNA is a #1 hit?

Re:My own DNA... (5, Funny)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052193)

The RIAA will send a settlement letter to your parents to forward to you. For only $5000 you can continue to live with your current DNA.

Swi

Re:My own DNA... (4, Funny)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052489)

I was going to mod you up funny, but then thought you missed a bit of the joke, I would have added just a bit more:
The RIAA will send a settlement letter to your parents to forward to you. For only $5000 you can continue to live with your current DNA. Otherwise they will take you to court to have the offending material removed.

Re:My own DNA... (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052275)

Then you'll have no problems with paying the royalties.

Re:My own DNA... (1)

Bob54321 (911744) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052361)

Then it will be about 99.9% similar to anybody elses "personalized song". Once people realize that then it will go the way of the Flaming Homer/Moe...

Your DNA is not your own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052549)

Everybody assumes they own their own DNA. But if you're talking about DNA as a creative work, and in the context of patent/copyright issues, aren't your parents the ones who should rightfully own that DNA sequence. After all, they invented it (and thus, you).

Re:My own DNA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052987)

Please, everyone knows that only Jesus' DNA would generate #1 hits.

Re:My own DNA... (4, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053117)

And what happens when the music generated from my OWN DNA is a #1 hit?

"Hey Hey, we're 98% Monkeys....."
       

Prior Art (2, Informative)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051967)

I cannot find a source, but I too can attest to this being done many years ago. My 9th grade Biology teacher played it for us in fact. And now Im 21.

Prepare to meet prior art you two.

More prior art (3, Informative)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052301)

I can with absolute clarity remember seeing albums/tapes of "DNA music" being sold in the gift shops of various museums -- notably the Boston Museum of Science -- in the mid/late 1990s. I remember because I saw it there one day when they were playing it, but didn't buy it, and then I was never able to find it again (I had really wanted to get it as a gift for a biologist friend).

But even beyond that, just typing "DNA music" into Google turns up lots of results, some of which have a lot of history behind them.

The people at AlgoArt [algoart.com] (not sure if they're the people behind the patent or not) have been making (transcribing?) music from DNA sequences since 1992. They have three CDs available. I rather suspect that it might have been one of these that I heard in Boston those years ago.

And this summary page [whozoo.org] contains a reference to a paper published in 1984 which contained specific references to the idea of making music from DNA sequences. ("Hayashi and Munakata , using a system that assigned pitches to the four DNA bases according to their thermal stability within the interval of a fifth, found that converting the DNA sequences to music helped to expose the meaning of specific sequences and made remembering and recognizing specific DNA patterns easier.")

Re:Prior Art (1)

or-switch (1118153) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052335)

I remember a computerized exhibit at a science museum (I think the Exploratorium in San Francisco) when I was in college (mid 90's) that had computers playing DNA and protein sequences in an interactive exhibit. The authors of this patent really missed the boat. The DNA gives you 4 'notes' to play with, and sure you can make more by looking for specific sequences, but protein codes, and there's lots of them, have 20 notes, and tons more if you make combinations. I suspect protein music is more interesting than DNA music.

Pickover? (2, Informative)

rockmuelle (575982) | more than 7 years ago | (#20051973)


Didn't Clifford Pickover's Mazes for the Mind (1994) book have a chapter on this?

(on vacation and don't have my copy handy to check...)

-Chris

Re:Pickover? (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052199)

No idea, but Mary Doria Russell tried it out in Children of God [amazon.com] as well.

Re:Pickover? (3, Interesting)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053027)

Yes it does. Chapter 39, titled "There is Music in our Genes", describes work done by Susumu Ohno, Nobuo Munakata, and Kenshi Hayashi to map DNA sequences to melodies.

Ohno has also done the reverse, mapping existing music to DNA sequences. "For example, Ohno maps pieces such as Frederic Chopin's Nocturn, opus 55, no. 1, to musical scores and shows that the Nocturn sequences have remarkable similarities with DNA sequences....Some of these similarities arise from the fact that both DNA and gene sequences contain tandemly recurring segments."

For Christ Sake (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052023)

Look, I know it's standard groupthink around here to hate patents and anything patent related, but we don't need blatently false stories to rile everyone up.

The patent is not for "music obtained from DNA" it's for a METHOD to obtain music from DNA. The idea is actually pretty damn unique if you ask me. This is not a frivolous patent.

God damn Slashdot seems to get more and more inaccurate every year.

Re:For Christ Sake (1)

brianf711 (873109) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052257)

Though the method may be unique (and I'm not sure it is), I can't imagine any use that isn't pure novelty. From the patent:

Useful products include individual identity analysis, for example, for security checking, paternity testing, and the like. The music generated by an individual sample can be compared with a control sample. An identity analyzer can be configured to provide an audible signal for a specific comparative result, for example, if the sample and the control differ, e.g., signaling an alarm in a security setting, or when they are the same, e.g., adding excitement to live television coverage of paternity determinations.

Clinical analyzers that compare sequences of patient samples with controls may be programmed to provide soothing melodies when the sequence is "normal" and to provide an audible, for example, discordant music when an "abnormal" sequence is detected. Such signals can provide a signal for the clinical technician to alert a physician to the difference in the sequence.
It is like they took legitimate uses for DNA and just give you the results in a song. I don't get it. But then again, pet rocks and moon property have been successful, so why can't this?

Re:For Christ Sake (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052523)

I'm sorry Mr. Smith, we can't insure you. Your DNA did not complete the William Tell Overture correctly.

Re:For Christ Sake (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053217)

Pet rocks are taken, but pet bricks are still open.
     

Re:For Christ Sake (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053005)

God damn Slashdot seems to get more and more inaccurate every year.

And yet you are still here, still reading, still posting, why would that be, Mr. Coward?

Re:For Christ Sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20053313)

I'm a foolish optimist. I hold on to the hope that this place will become a legitimate source of news and intelligent debate.

Probably will never happen, but I can dream!

-Mr Coward.

Re:For Christ Sake (1)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053241)

it's for a METHOD
Well, guess what. Method Man [wikipedia.org] wants to have a word with you.

These guys can play (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052027)

my meatflute and see what music comes out of that.

Tune in to DNA 104.5, your (s)hit music station (4, Funny)

cookieinc (975574) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052059)

Im pretty sure my DNA sounds like "Oops I did it again"

Re:Tune in to DNA 104.5, your (s)hit music station (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052583)

Oh, then you must be from the country ;p

Now, who has the DNA for Drum rolls?

Beautiful Music (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052173)

So much for finding a nice girl & making beautiful music together.

MOD HIM UP AND ME DOWN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052603)

Too funny for Slashdot ;-)

Music from DNA, DNA from music (5, Funny)

shigelojoe (590080) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052185)

This will complement nicely those audiophiles who emit DNA every time they listen to their $30,000 hi-fi systems.

Re:Music from DNA, DNA from music (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053255)

This will complement nicely those audiophiles who emit DNA every time they listen to their $30,000 hi-fi systems.

You realize that's *still* far cheaper than giving it to a human female.
       

There's no prior art for transcoding? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052187)

That's all you're doing here transcoding one kind of information to another.

What's the point in encouraging people to invent shit if they get to lock it up for several lifetimes? What you'll get from this is one really bad DNA->music encoder, and every bit of competition locked out of the race for decades.

If the patent system were a car it'd be a rusted out common piece of shit from the 70s that isn't even worth salvaging as scrap metal.

Patent on HUMAN DNA to make music? (1)

fi1th (1090847) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052237)

As mentioned above, you are individual down to the very mutation. Be insertion; deletion; translocation, or just VARIATION to differentiate from the species. To claim the DNA sequence as a patent for making music is the latest, most stupid thing I have heard. It only reconfirms my disdain for where humanity is going... (correct me if I'm wrong but this can only truely have a chance in the "Great" U.S.A where everybody strives to reach the "American Dream")

SCREW YOU ALL I'M GOING TO PATENT THE SEQUENCE FOR BLOW-FLYS!! You will see when my bow-fly music is found to be truely harmonic, well above the humans sequence moronic melodies

"Mission to Mars" "prior art"? (1)

hkfczrqj (671146) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052247)

Was it the movie Mission to Mars that featured something like a DNA sequence transmitted through music? If so, would that count as some sort of prior art?

Re:"Mission to Mars" "prior art"? (1)

Oldav (533444) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053159)

Wasnt that a for andromeda?

When art starts getting patented... (1)

Moochman (54872) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052259)

...you know the intellectual world is going down the tubes.

Re:When art starts getting patented... (1)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052651)

I thought that was the Internet going down the tubes?

Guess this won't be played at TGI Fridays either (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052263)

I guess that along with "Happy Birthday to you...", this DNA decoded musical masterpiece won't be played at TGI Fridays either. And it's a good thing too. I can't imagine the amount of revenue, the rightful owners of these two pieces, would lose if either of these two songs entered the public domain. WHEW...It's a good thing we have such wonderful copyright laws protecting the owners of these two fine pieces of ...ARE THEY EVEN REAL FRICKEN SONGS?

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052279)

There's plenty of prior art on this. Mapping some sequence (DNA, fractals, etc.) has been around for a long time. Heck, wind chimes map wind gusts onto a pentatonic scale.

If someone patents a methodology that prevents me from creating real music, then I'll start to care.

prior art exceedingly likely, except ..... (4, Informative)

paulbd (118132) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052285)

i graduated with a bachelors in molecular biology & biochemistry in 1981. i had already read papers by that time which described audio/musical transcriptions of DNA, RNA and protein sequences specifically designed to take advantage of the greater perceptual bandwidth of the auditory system vs. the visual system.

the one thing that might be novel here (i don't have time to read a patent abstract at present) is if they have found some way to generate musically meaningful compositions that go beyond a simple (chemical unit) => (musical note) mapping. that could enhance the ability of the auditory system to recognize patterns in sequences, and might be worthy of a patent.

My counter patent (2, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052293)

See, every time we see a stupid new patent, I have to think of one stupider and yet somehow pertinent. So here's my patent idea:

Wind Chimes!!

See, they are similar because it's about making "music" from the things we find in nature.

Re:My counter patent (1)

newgalactic (840363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052331)

Keep your money grubbin litigation happy hands away from my back porch BITCH!

Re:My counter patent (2, Funny)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052969)

I refer you to the parent post, henceforth known as 'Exhibit A'. Here the defendants claims prior art on their back porch, but it clear this information only became public knowledge a whole entire four minutes after the plaintiffs initial patent deceleration. I move that 'Exhibit A' be struck from the record and summarily dismissed.

Re:My counter patent (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053285)

See, every time we see a stupid new patent, I have to think of one stupider and yet somehow pertinent. So here's my patent idea: Wind Chimes!! See, they are similar because it's about making "music" from the things we find in nature.

Too artsy. How about:

* Farts
* Barf colors
* Boogers
* Jizz patterns
* Floating poop logs
* Skid marks in underwear
       

The Shamen's "S2 Translation" is prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052325)

What a crock. I did this using CSound in 1997 after listening to The Shamen's 1995 album Axis Mutatis, which has a track that does the same thing called "S2 Translation". Do they even Google for prior art? These patent inspectors are truly no Einsteins.

Here's a link with a description of the method used to make "S2 Translation":
http://www.nemeton.com/axis-mutatis/s2.html [nemeton.com]

On other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052329)

I patent sexual intercourse. Now everybody wanting to do it pays me or goes to jail!!! Send $159.99 to get your sex permit or live in celibacy!

Dejavu? (3, Insightful)

SamP2 (1097897) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052363)

A good century ago or so, at the dawn of radioastronomy, there was a whole big point of "celestial music". People thought that the radio signals emitted by stars have a certain harmony, and when used right, can produce "heavenly" melody.

Needless to say that didn't go very far.

Same story here. Just because you find something which, when transformed, can generate certain audio patterns, doesn't mean it will be any good as *music*. In fact, looking for some "objective", "universal" melody source is pretty much dumb as music preference varies greatly even within our own species (*waits for rock vs rap flaming to start*), and many other species have different combinations of sound they perceive as music (and which we perceive only as noise).

Music is *produced* with a specific purpose in mind, and the production rules vary depending on that purpose. You won't find it bestowed upon you, whether from the stars or magically encoded in some DNA sequence.

I know, I'm gonna apply for my own patent: (2, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052407)

"Method for remembering a musical sequence through notation involving a series of lines and spaces."

Wasn't Douglas Adams prior art for this? (2, Interesting)

gslj (214011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052429)

I remember that the novel "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" featured a spreadsheet that turned financial numbers into music, and that later in the book the plot turned on discovering that DNA and other natural phenomena translated into the music of Bach. That's how I remember it, anyway.

So, do novels count as prior art?

-Gareth

Re:Wasn't Douglas Adams prior art for this? (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052861)

Have not read DGHDA, but fictional works can provide prior art in some cases. Specifically, Arthur C. Clarke prevented anyone from patenting geosynchronous satellites by describing them in great detail before the first one went up.

Re:Wasn't Douglas Adams prior art for this? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20053341)

Except Clarke's proposal of the communications satellite wasn't in a work of fiction. See http://lakdiva.org/clarke/1945ww/1945ww_058.jpg [lakdiva.org] and http://lakdiva.org/clarke/1945ww/1945ww_305.jpg [lakdiva.org] and overall http://lakdiva.org/clarke/1945ww/ [lakdiva.org]

Bullshit (1)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052439)

What a pair of retards. This is definitely one of those bullshit patents... my school has been doing (and giving courses in) DNA music for years now. No, I don't think the people at my school invented it, but this has been going on for a while. They're lawyers, too... that just pisses me off.

Prior Art: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (3, Informative)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052475)

Wouldn't the book "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams be prior art?

See Music and Fractal Landscapes [tu-darmstadt.de] (pdf).

It describes generating music from every aspect of nature.

Re:Prior Art: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Age (1)

HappyEngineer (888000) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052561)

Oh, and if it helps, DNA are the initials of Douglas Noel Adams. So that book is an instruction from DNA on how to create music from nature.

oh no, the RIAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20052497)

Now that DNA and music have intersected,
we're really in trouble.

Prior art (besides what was mentioned in summary)? (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052505)

DNA = Douglas Noel Adams...

Douglas Adams was very interested in the combination of music and math, and biology. I think I even remember reading (probably in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) about music made from DNA (similar to the idea of making music from corporate profit reports). Then again, I could be pulling that out of MYASS [caltech.edu] ...

The Shamen did exactly this in1995 (2, Interesting)

psyclops (140205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052567)

The track 'S2 Translation' on the Shamen album Axis Mutatis was *exactly* this, being music generated from the DNA sequence of the S2 protein. Very odd track, strangely hypnotic and ethereal but a little annoying after a while. Pretty visible prior art if you ask me (though IANAL). More about the track here [nemeton.com] . Not surprisingly, the S2 protein is the receptor for serotonin...

Lots of prior art (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052575)

People have been generating music from streams of data for a LONG time. Mozart's musical dice game comes to mind, as well as Charles Dodge's Earth's Magnetic Field, from back in 1970, which generated some very pleasant music from K index data. And what about Xenakis's work?

music signal having melody and harmony (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052591)

So if I produce something off key, I'm safe?

What about prior art? (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052617)

You can patent the process to convert the DNA to music but not the DNA itself as music. You might have some rights to music made from your own unique DNA but patenting the concept is rediculous. I doubt anything of value would be made from DNA but it's the principal. Part of the point is are they sequencing the DNA themselves or using sequencing done by the Human Genome project? If so what rights do they have to the Genome Project sequencing information? It's meant for medical use not to be exploited for some BS patent for generating music.

Re:What about prior art? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053207)

Just don't tell them where the music came from. Tell them it came to you in a dream. It's not like the Patent Police are going to give you biopsy. The only place it may matter is like a circus booth that "plays" your DNA.
         

Still safe forms of music (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052735)

This only covers music with melody and harmony. That means we can still change DNA into rap, punk, and metal.

Are they saying... (2, Insightful)

AdmNaismith (937672) | more than 7 years ago | (#20052955)

...that they cornered the market on transcribing DNA sequences into music notation in general, or by their parameters? If they are talking in general, they have no leg to stand on- there's too much prior art, fictional and practical. If they have a specific algorithm that makes a particular 'sound', it's still pretty craptacular.

Whew! (1)

theendlessnow (516149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053013)

Bet they're breathing easier since they got their patent in before patent reform.

But... they're still waiting to see if their Music from Meatloaf patent gets approved. But such is the life of the great innovators.

Re:Whew! (1)

dido (9125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053183)

Music from Meatloaf? Lots of prior [amazon.com] , art [amazon.com] on that one!

What about copyrights? (1)

robo_mojo (997193) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053061)

They may have a patent to convert DNA into music, but if they try to do it to MY DNA, they'll be suffering from a copyright lawsuit!

We truly are in hell now (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053087)

While lawyers may have applied for the patent, some PhD in biology wrote the damn thing. My head nearly exploded from trying to read it.

And when I searched for the term "music", nowhere in the patent did the term "music" pop up.

Either someone screwed up the article or they linked to the wrong patent. Dang, I read the article AND tried to read the patent. A first!

Re:We truly are in hell now (1)

immerrath (607098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053215)

Wrong patent. Shows you how many people even bother to RTFA.

DNA convertamatron (1)

sxeraverx (962068) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053125)

Hmm...Aren't we humans technically devices for decoding DNA into music? I mean, our DNA defines who we are (along with supposedly environmental factors, but most of that is either just pure chance, or caused by other blobs defined by DNA/environmental factors), so technically, any musician who will produce, or is producing music that they describe is violating the patent, and anyone who has produced music has prior art. US Patent Office FTW!

The actual patent (4, Informative)

geeknado (1117395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053139)

Having attempted to actually read this patent, it appears that the links in both the summary and the (very brief) article take us to one pertaining to the chimeric encoding of plastidic phosphoglucomutase. Not ideal.

Here's a link [uspto.gov] to the actual patent of interest.

Umm... when did these lawyers patent this? (1)

Ra Zen (924419) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053151)

People have been performing music from DNA for YEARS, how the hell can a couple of dudes patent what's already entered the public domain?

Douglas Hofstadter noted the idea in 1980 and Hayashi and Munakata made the first music from DNA in 1984! In exactly the same way as these lawyers propose to do so no less. Not to mention the numerous artists who have also created genetic music since then (http://whozoo.org/mac/Music/Sources.htm). Patents in the US are granted for 20 years from the date of filing (and this is recent, it used to be 17; http://www.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article =1329&context=bejeap [bepress.com] ). 2007 - 20 years = 1987. So unless these guys were able to pull out some crazy extentions there is no way they thought of this first.

Wrong patent linked? (2, Informative)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053195)

I think the intended patent is 7247782 [uspto.gov] , "Genetic music".
The link in the story takes me to patent 7250557, which appears to be unrelated ("Plastidic phosphoglucomutase genes").

In other news (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053279)

I've patented the creation of music by interpreting electrical signals sent to an amplification device from a guitar.

Seriously, what the hell is this crap? Making music that is somehow based off of DNA. "The song you created starts with a "D", and DNA starts with the same letter, therefore you are guilty of copyright infringement". Or, "This techno beat seems to follow a pattern and DNA has a pattern, therefore we're going to sue you".

There's 2 things you can throw into a proposed law/patent application to make it work. One is words related to terrorists "preventing TERROR/AL QUIEDA!/BOMB/FREEDOM/etc", the second is science words which people don't understand.

bollocks to that! (1)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053295)

I spent an hour attempting to read that and I still dont have the faintest idea about what it means really but IANA biologist.

It certainly didnt sound like a frivolous patent to me. But, im also very lost when it comes to how it relates to music. it seemed more like they were into cloning than anything else or storing dna in some fashing. It would have been nice if someone with a clue had said "oh, this section here, this means encoding music from a dna stream" or something even vaguely represented something that was like english (or even american english considering i can almost read that).

Is the wrong patent linked or have patents become such that they use terminology that doesnt make sence to a single human being in the known universe? i mean for the love of god, "music" doesn't even appear once in the patent and nor does "harmony", "song" or any other terminology that seems to even relate to music except "encoding".

Speaking as a layman - oh well i cant turn my dna into music (apparently). But I probably couldn't in first place anyway and nor would I want to for that matter. I'd love to be angry at the patent and shake my first at it, but its so hard when it is just incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo and even sounds like theres been alot of work put into it. I'm certainly not going to take someone word for it that its a bad patent.

But then again, thats what lawyers do, i remember a lawyer turning a sentence i wrote about how i wanted the software i'd written for a company into 50 pages of rubbish i couldnt understand anymore.

Has anyone bothered to go to the patent? (1)

kocsonya (141716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20053335)

The link in both the /. article and in the original Genome Technology article leads you to a patent that has absolutely nothing to do with music. It is a gene patent, awarded to DuPont 6 years ago, namely US patent # 7,250,557 and is about generating GM plants with modulated sugar/starch content. Half of the actual patent is a long sequence description. However, the word 'music' does not occur anywhere in it.
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