Genetic Engineering through Music?

The Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE) is one of the major academic journals in parapsychology and the study of other “alternative facts” (to borrow a phrase from one of President Trump’s key advisors, Kellyanne Conway).

The Spring 2017 issue of JSE carries an article by Jeff Levin of Baylor University titled “New Paradigm Research in Medicine: An Agenda.” Among the many topics Levin discusses in his paper is the subject of “The Use of Sound and Music in Genetic Engineering.”

Levin draws heavily upon the work of the late Dr. Sushumu Ohno, a microbiologist. Ohno assigned musical notes to each of the basic nucleic acids, the building blocks of genes. The notes were written out in the sequence in which they appeared in a particular gene. (Oh no, Ohno! I don’t like where this is headed!) In this way, musical scores encoded from the genes of mice, rainbow trout, slime molds, a chicken’s eye, “and so on” were obtained. Levin states that when these scores were played, there was a “remarkable resemblance of the resultant music to the intrinsic essence or the soul of the seed DNA sequence.” For instance, the score for a mouse sounded like an up-tempo waltz; the score for the lens of the eye sounded light and airy; and the score for an oncogene (cancer-causing gene) sounded somber. Levin states that: “In reverse, the same correspondence held; for example, a funeral march by Chopin, when decoded, resembled a human cancer gene.”

The medical implications are of course staggering. For instance, Levin states:

Does the patient have an infection? Then take a sound bite of the appropriate antibiotic. No cost, no toxic side effects, no pharmaceutical profits. On the downside, want to harm a large population—an incurable disease or agricultural blight perhaps? Then how about a form of mutagenic terrorism—the introduction of a genera of music into a culture or society which can precipitate disease through wreaking genetic mutations? [Kenny G. perhaps?]

Levin insists that “these sorts of scenarios may not be so far-fetched.” He cites work indicating that “specific tones have been identified to replace dental anesthesia, realign vertebrae, stimulate acupuncture meridians, and even provide a sort of massage.”

Not content to limit his perspective to therapeutic music, Levin expands his scope to include alien abductions, hierophanies, thought forms, radionics, “arcane medical wisdom,” and prenatal ensoulment.

The only reference Levin cites for Ohno’s original work is an Associated Press article in the January 29, 1988, issue of the Ann Arbor News, my own hometown newspaper, way back when there used to be newspapers. Go Wolverines! Or should I say, Please stop, Wolverines! At once.


The Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE) is one of the major academic journals in parapsychology and the study of other “alternative facts” (to borrow a phrase from one of President Trump’s key advisors, Kellyanne Conway). The Spring 2017 issue of JSE carries an article by Jeff Levin of Baylor University titled “New Paradigm Research in …

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