How can microbes be sonified? Once inoculated, our microbiome records were imaged utilizing an open-source camera to generate 2D images. We developed several approaches to generate sound and music from these images, with a principal question in mind: how is the sound meaningful from a biological perspective?
Ultimately, we focused on three forms of data that could be extracted from the images of our records: microbe location, density, and cluster size. Given the design of our records, we could add an additional layer of information by having different segments of each record correspond to organisms swabbed from different parts of the body. With our incubator and camera, we could also take time-lapse images, adding a time parameter. Based on these inputs, we developed several algorithms to convert these data streams to sound and music.